FS ALDEN DARBY, ARIZONA ST.

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5’11” – 195 lbs. – 4.55e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 14 – 0.0 – 0.0 (CB)
2011: 51 – 1.0 – 0.0, 3 PD, 3 INT (FS)
2012: 80 – 5.5 – 2.0, 1 FF, 4 PD, 3 INT (1 TD)
2013: 72 – 2.0 – 0.0, 2 FF, 9 PD, 4 INT (1 TD)

OVERVIEW:

Appeared in eleven games as a true freshman, then converted to safety and started two of twelve games in 2011. Started ten of thirteen games in 2012, earning second-team all-conference honors, then was named to the first team as a senior in 2013 after starting all fourteen games.

POSITIVES:

•    Will graduate having been a productive starter for two seasons, also important in 2011.
•    Combination of height and length are consistent with a pro free safety; adequate bulk.
•    Possesses the athleticism to defend receivers in coverage; also played corner in 2010.
•    Consistently keeps the play in front of him, is conscious of being last line of defense.
•    Soft hands; has intercepted at least three passes in each of the past three seasons.
•    Backpedal technique could be cleaned up but still manages to cover lots of ground.
•    When he does attempt tackles, he remembers his fundamentals rather than trying to hit.
•    Also remained a member of Arizona State’s kick-coverage units throughout his career.

NEGATIVES:

•    Size limitations will probably restrict versatility, limiting him to free safety, not strong.
•    More of a smooth mover than someone who displays explosiveness out of breaks.
•    Even in college, doesn’t really come down into the box very often to mix it up vs. run.
•    Probably not big or physical enough to offer a viable option for defending tight ends.
•    When other players are in position to make the tackle, is a bit deferential if possible.
•    Effective in his backpedal more than he is technically sound, gets a bit high at times.
•    Relatively inexperienced in the slot compared to others; more of a true center-fielder.

OVERVIEW:

Darby is one of the more underrated free safety prospects in this year’s class, a converted cornerback who possesses a nice combination of size, bulk, and athleticism, tools which are complemented by a sense of responsibility while working as a center-fielder. Rather than freelancing in deep zones, Darby is the type of prospect who flies a bit under the radar because he attempts to minimize big plays by opposing offenses rather than making big plays of his own. Nonetheless, teams seeking a play who does a good job of keeping the play in front of him and is capable of making the interception when he’s in position to could do worse than Darby, who may not be one of the most versatile options in the class but is good at what he does.

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