Bills Draft: 50th Pick – Ronald Darby – FSU
In 2014, selected third-team All-ACC, allowing just 41.9 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed. In 2013, played in all 14 games with 9 starts. Had a pass breakup against Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game. Selected 2012 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and tied for the team lead with eight pass breakups that season. Selected Under Armour All-American in high school, where he was also a track standout. Ran a verified 4.37 40-yard dash in high school. Won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the Maryland 3A state championships and was a member of the gold medal-winning USA medley relay at the 2011 World Youth Championships in France.
PRO DAY RESULTS
Broad jump: 10 feet, 7 inches
Bench press: 15 reps of 225 pounds
Former high school track star with “world-class speed.” Can change directions suddenly with few false steps. Has requisite body control to handle the strain of press-man coverage. Easy swivel to his hips with ability to open, run and hit top speed quickly. Plays with instincts and awareness. Ready to come off his man to overlap and contest a catch or make a tackle. Digests combo routes and helps teammates lineup before snap. Recognizes route development and makes early break on throws. Ball-tracker with excellent timing to high-point and disrupt the catch. Lack of on-ball production tied to quarterbacks avoiding him. Technically proficient with hand usage in press and maintains feel for receiver. Constricts throwing windows in zone coverage. Steps downhill and attacks against the run.
Susceptible to inside releases, with feet stuttering before transitioning to close distance on loose receiver. Like teammate P.J. Williams, he must learn to play without so much grabbing downfield. Needs improvement with back to ball. Anxious to stay on top of route from press and opens door for comebacks underneath. Will occasionally lose track of his man in scramble situations. Not a hitter. Scouts question his toughness. Will get muscled by bigger receivers. Ducks head as tackler and prefers to hit with helmet over wrapping up against running backs. Will lose interceptions to his below-average hands. Reportedly refused to testify during Jameis Winston’s FSU code-of-conduct hearing, which stemmed from a sexual assault accusation against Winston. Darby witnessed the encounter between Winston and the accuser. Darby was cleared of wrongdoing in the incident by an FSU hearing panel.
Round 2 or 3
Cover corner with average size and outstanding speed. Has shown the instincts to play off coverage and the athleticism to play press. It is a bit of a concern that scouts and even opposing coaches have commented on Darby’s toughness, but he doesn’t have very many missed or broken tackles on his docket and his cover skills should be prioritized over his run support regardless. He clearly has starter’s ability at the position.