"For your peers to think of you that highly as No. 1 in the National Football League, that's pretty special," Donald said when he received the honor.
Donald, 28, ranked No. 15 in 2017, No. 14 in 2016 and No. 92 in 2015. The Rams defensive tackle has won back-to-back NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year awards. He led the NFL with a career-high 20.5 sacks in 16 starts last season. Donald also had 59 tackles, a league-high 25 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass defensed in 2018.
The four-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection entered the league as the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Donald signed a six-year, $134 million contract extension with the Rams last off-season.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ranked No. 2 on the 2019 NFL 100. Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack was No. 3, followed by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes. Rams running back Todd Gurley ranked No. 5. Brady ranked No. 6 on this year's list.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller rounded out the top 10 on the 2019 NFL 100.