Aaron Donald has been the best defender in the NFL the last two years and is in line to win his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award. It’s a feat Lawrence Taylor previously accomplished in 1981-82, becoming the first player to win the award in back-to-back years.

Donald has been a star at defensive tackle since coming into the league as a somewhat undersized player for the position. There were pre-draft concerns about his lack of size, but he’s proved all of those doubters wrong.

John Randle, arguably the best defensive tackle in league history, paid Donald a huge compliment ahead of the Super Bowl. He said the Rams star can change the game the way Taylor did 30-plus years ago.

“If he keeps this up, he can change the game almost like a Lawrence Taylor,” Randle told the New York Times.

Interior pressure is something every quarterback hates and it disrupts the running game because penetration up the middle is almost impossible to run away from.

“When you get that interior pressure, they can’t run the sweep, the center can’t pull,” Randle added. “When you’re in the inside, you may not get there, but you’re in the quarterback’s face, and he can’t see because the pressure’s there. He sees you, and he’s more conscious of you. You’re right there in front of him.”

Donald is a similar player to Randle, who was also seen as a smaller defensive tackle at 6 feet 1 and under 300 pounds. Randle was a dominant pass rusher from the inside, recording 137.5 career sacks and leading the league in that department with 15.5 in 1997.

Taylor is viewed as one of the best to ever play in the NFL, being an eight-time All-Pro selection, 10-time Pro Bowler and recording 132.5 sacks – and that’s including 1981 when sacks weren’t yet an official stat.

Donald has had a huge impact on the NFL thus far, and if he keeps up this torrid pace, he’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, too. Bill Belichick may not be ready to compare Donald to Taylor, but Randle isn’t afraid to say the Rams defensive tackle can have a similar impact.