We’re still a ways away from the 2021 NFL Draft, but it’s also a weird year. Despite the fact that we only got to see two games from Frank Darby in 2020, his draft status is pretty defined in my eyes. Let’s take a look at the Frank Darby 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Fair or unfair, Arizona State doesn’t have a shiny track record in recent years for wide receivers coming into the league. Say what you want about Brandon Aiyuk but he’s not a round one receiver. He’s someone that benefits from being in space and making big plays. Not a typical number one with a big route tree. Then you have N’Keal who… just flat out sucks.
Frank Darby is less heralded than both of those players. In two games a year ago, Darby reeled in six receptions for 46 yards and a score. The year prior, Darby notched 31 receptions 616 yards, and eight touchdowns.
The box score often lies, but not in this instance. Darby is a one-trick pony. If he doesn’t win deep, he doesn’t win. In his first three years at Arizona State, Darby averaged over 20 yards per catch. That’s great, but Darby is flawed. He doesn’t have the pure size like a Mike Williams to win those 50-50 balls at the next level. Darby doesn’t have the blazing speed to just win with raw athletic traits.
From a pure skillset standpoint, I think the Senior Bowl exposed the flaws in his game. Darby really struggled when it comes change of direction. When Darby tried to get from point A to point B, it looked worse than a baby trying to learn how to walk. Darby has one gear. It’s straight and that’s it.
I don’t know how Darby even fits into an offense. Can he block in the run game as an Allen Lazard type of player? Is that really what you’re looking for when drafting a receiver? I would encourage everyone to go back and watch the Senior Bowl practices. There is no route tree. NONE.
When it comes to Frank Darby, I’m not sure what there is to get excited about. I don’t even see a comp for a player like Darby that even makes sense to draft him. This is probably a player to forget about on draft day and move on to other receiver targets.