Ronald Darby

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RAIDERRED
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Ronald Darby

Post by RAIDERRED » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:59 pm

Positive: Fast and athletic cornerback with a developing game. Stays with receivers out of breaks, possesses a burst of closing speed and explodes to the ball out of his plant. Shows good route recognition in zone, competes to defend passes and engages opponents throughout the route.

Negative: Gives a big cushion and a lot of underneath receptions. Shows hesitation and at times late to react. Does not display a sense of timing on pass defenses. Struggles getting off blocks when trying to defend the run.

Analysis: Darby is still more athlete than football player but shows the makings of a potential nickel/dime back at the next level who can also play on special teams.
#ZEKEMODE
"He's a humble kid," notes Brown. "He's a very intelligent kid. He talks about a lot of things other than football. He's interested in a lot of things other than football. But he wants to be the greatest to put on pads, so I'm going to help him get there."

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Re: Ronald Darby

Post by RAIDERRED » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:21 pm

Strengths

Elite straight line speed to stick with receivers hip-to-hip down the field
Speed to recover vertically, even after a false step or two
Movement skills are elite, top-notch lateral agility and COD ability
Fluid hips to turn and run with receivers
Clean breaks on the ball, able to accelerate out of his backpedal with good click-and-close
Leaping ability and body control in the air to contest flight balls
Aggressive mentality to come up and play the run
Will lower a shoulder and hit with leverage to blow up receivers in his zone
Does a good job of targeting runners’ legs as a tackler
Will read quarterback’s eyes with active feet in zone coverage
Ideal awareness and instincts in zones, will carry and pick up assignments fluidly
While not ideal in length or strength for press coverage, plays with good subtle physicality to mirror receivers in their routes

Weaknesses

Height/length limitations
A little too eager to flips his hips and get vertical, allows receivers to break off routes underneath for uncontested catches
Route recognition skills are raw, needs to read receivers footwork and see breaks coming before they do
Lacks the strength to consistently bring down ball carriers one-on-one
Balls skills are raw, needs to read/diagnose/attack quicker
Needs to learn to turn and locate the football, rather than panicking and playing the man
Must time his jumps better to properly contest the catch at the highest point
Physical mentality, but hand usage to press at LOS needs work, often misses on his punch and allows receivers to get into routes cleanly
Footwork needs work, gives receivers inside release too easily
Can be knocked off balance by bigger, stronger receivers in routes
Occasionally drops his eye level too soon as a tackler
#ZEKEMODE
"He's a humble kid," notes Brown. "He's a very intelligent kid. He talks about a lot of things other than football. He's interested in a lot of things other than football. But he wants to be the greatest to put on pads, so I'm going to help him get there."

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Re: Ronald Darby

Post by RAIDERRED » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:22 pm

One of the most athletically gifted prospects in the 2015 draft class, Darby offers world class speed and outstanding fluidity to play either man or zone coverage at a high level. His technique and footwork are raw, and his read-and-diagnose skills need work, but the athletic tools are all there for Darby to dominate at a myriad of different positions in the NFL.

Physically Darby lacks the ideal length or height for the position, but makes up for it with top-notch leaping ability to play the ball in the air. Unfortunately Darby seems to have trouble locating the football at times, and must learn to get his head around to play the ball and not his man. The lack of ball skills was obvious on tape and in his production, but all the tools are there for Darby to turn that weakness into a strength.

Darby’s best feature is his “world-class” speed, which allows him to turn and stick hip-to-hip with receivers vertically. At times Darby is a little too eager to stay on top of routes, flipping his hips early and allowing receivers to break off their routes for uncontested receptions on underneath patterns. Darby’s recovery quickness and closing speed back to the ball are excellent, but he’ll have to learn to recognize patterns and breaks before they occur by reading receivers’ footwork at the next level. Patience can be a desirable virtue as a corner, and Darby will need to learn not to jump at the first move a receiver makes. Often receivers will capitalize on his aggressive nature by faking an out-breaking pattern before driving inside, a release that is consistently given up too easily by Darby.

Being able to play off-man, press, or zone defense makes Darby an attractive prospect, but he can be overpowered and knocked off balance by bigger receivers getting into their routes. His frame may not be ideal for press work except from the slot, where his lack of length and power won’t be negatives against smaller receivers. That’s not to say Darby can’t win on the outside, as he has all the athletic tools to succeed against bigger receivers, but just that he might be better suited for off-man or zone coverage in that alignment.

Some have raised issues about Darby’s run-stopping abilities and effort against the run, but in four games against quality opponents I didn’t see it as an issue. Darby will never have the power or frame to consistently win one-on-one as a tackler against bigger backs, but he comes downhill quickly and wisely targets ball carriers’ legs to hit with leverage. His missed tackle numbers in college were minimal, and while I wouldn’t say it’s a strength of Darby’s, I don't see it as a weakness. He’ll have trouble getting off blocks at times, but he’ll actively come up and weave through blockers to attempt diving stops at runners in the box. Darby’s physical tools are a bit limited in this area, but I witnessed a player doing everything he could to stop ball carriers on tape.

While Darby’s overall game is still raw and he must improve his ball skills, he’s a top-notch athlete with the undeniable upside and versatility to be a starting cornerback at the next level. He’s not as NFL ready as some prospects, but the potential impact he could bring to a defense will be hard for teams to ignore.

Projection: 2nd round
#ZEKEMODE
"He's a humble kid," notes Brown. "He's a very intelligent kid. He talks about a lot of things other than football. He's interested in a lot of things other than football. But he wants to be the greatest to put on pads, so I'm going to help him get there."

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Re: Ronald Darby

Post by 34yearsnow » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:31 pm

He's at worst a Nickle-Corner....and we need a Nickle-Corner.

IF our Corner targets in the 1st Round are gone when we pick at #27...Darby is likely the pick at #60.
"How do we begin to covet? We covet what we see everyday"....Hannibal Lechter...The Silence of the Lambs

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Re: Ronald Darby

Post by 34yearsnow » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:17 pm

What he brings: He's something of a risk due to some off-field issues and his questionable awareness in zone coverage and habit for guessing too much in man coverage. But he has the fluidity and top-end speed to turn and run with the fastest receivers -- his movement skills remind us of Janoris Jenkins.
"How do we begin to covet? We covet what we see everyday"....Hannibal Lechter...The Silence of the Lambs

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