Ronald Darby   CB   Florida St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 4

STRENGTHS
Ronald has excellent athletic talent and he proved that scoring high in our exclusive Combine Performance Metric (CPM) with a score of 88.97 at the combine. That was the highest score for the day for all defensive backs. He has good size to play more than one position in your defensive backfield and, when forced to, he is a secure tackler. He has the quickness to play man-to-man and the size to be used to play up on his opponent and bump him at the line of scrimmage. Ronald has those quick feet and his hip flip is as quick and as good as any in this draft. He looks on film to be a good teammate and with all of his athletic skills, he has excellent potential to become a starting defensive back and special teams player on the coverage units for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
Ronald has excellent athletic talent, but he has a lot to learn before he can be a starting cornerback in the NFL. First of all, he has cold hands. By that I mean his hands are stiff and donít receive the ball very well which makes it hard to become an impact corner if he canít intercept the ball. He also plays light; bigger receivers abuse him at the line and in running patterns. He plays light for his size because most of the time he is on his heels and lacks football instincts and intelligence to read the receiver and react. He looks into the backfield way too much and even looks too much at the center snap when he should be trying to read the stance of the receiver in front of him. He seems very lost in zone coverage and I suspect what he understands in meetings he lacks the ability to transfer and bring it to the field.

BOTTOM LINE
Ronald has a lot of growing up to do on the field for a player who has played as many snaps as he has played. With his talent he should be considered (without a doubt) as one of the top defensive backs in this draft. His ability to confuse himself in zone coverage and to be pushed around in single coverage along with his cold/stiff hands to catch the ball just makes Ronald a very athletic player with the ďpotentialĒ to become a starting cornerback for the team that drafts him. The problem is that Ronald should be way past that point because of the amount of playing time he has accrued over the last three years. If you draft this kid on his talent evaluations alone and donít take what you see on the film in comparison I suspect you will be waiting more than the length of one contract for his skill level to match up with his athletic talent level. Then again, I have been fooled before and if Ronald can (all of a sudden) find the work ethic needed to improve that he obviously has not found at the college level he could turn into a solid defensive back for the team that selects him. Personally, I would wait and see how much he has improved once he gets to the free agency level.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2015