Ronald Darby: Buffalo Bills’ 2017 Player Profile

Jun 13, 2017; Orchard Park, Buffalo, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) stretches during mini-camp at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2017; Orchard Park, Buffalo, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Ronald Darby (28) stretches during mini-camp at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

Ronald Darby will enter his third season in the NFL and his first season as the Buffalo Bills’ No.1 cornerback.

I have high expectations for Ronald Darby in 2017, but also little doubt that he will deliver with quality play for the Buffalo Bills. He hasn’t had a bad start to his career, but has been overshadowed by Stephon Gilmore and a shaky defensive back crew.

That could all change this season, as he will be put on center stage against the league’s best receivers for his chance to prove his ultimate worth.

He will have a lot of momentum, too. Just a couple of weeks ago, Pro Football Focus released their ‘best under-25 team,’ which obviously includes their top players under the age of 25. Ronald Darby was a member of that list.

A lot of the reason for that was his incredible rookie season with Buffalo, which earned him an 86.1 overall grade in 2015. It was quite the accomplishment, noting that it’s the third highest grade for a rookie cornerback… EVER.

PFF also recognized Darby in 2015 by placing him on their ’10 Biggest Pro Bowl Snubs in 2015′ list. He joined teammate Richie Incognito on that list. Here’s what PFF had to say in 2015:

"One rookie cornerback made the Pro Bowl roster, and one rookie cornerback deserved to make the Pro Bowl roster—but I am not describing the same player in this sentence. As Sam Monson and I discussed in the PFF Podcast earlier this week, Marcus Peters (69.7) is having a strong and eventful rookie season, but his performance level is not among the league’s very best. That distinction among rookie corners belongs to Ronald Darby, who in spite of a couple of shaky games in recent weeks, is still outperforming Peters in a very similar man-coverage role. Only shaded by Peters in terms of interceptions, Darby shows a similar knack for playing the ball (13 pass defenses), has surrendered three fewer touchdowns, and 343 fewer yards on only 19 fewer targets. Peters is having a noteworthy rookie season, standing up to a barrage of targets, but Darby has been overlooked merely based upon one statistic that accounts for 0.75 percent of Marcus Peters’ snaps this season."

I truly believe Ronald Darby will get back to his 2015 self this season, but that’s not to say he performed bad last season.

He still finished 2016 with 69 tackles, 12 passes defense and one stuff. The main downfall was the fact that he didn’t record a single interception all season.

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Expect that to change this season, as well.

Ronald Darby

Position: CB

Number: 28

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 193 lbs.

Age: 23 years old

College: Florida State

Drafted: 2nd Round, 50th (2015 by BUF)

Current Contract: 4-year, $4.57 million

2017 Base Salary: $800,426

2017 Cap Hit: $1.25 million

2016 Stats (BUF): 14 games, 69 tackles, 12 passes defensed, one stuff

2015 Stats (BUF): 15 games, 68 tackles, 2 INT, 21 passes defensed, 3 stuffs

Career Stats (2 yrs): 29 games, 137 tackles, 2 INT, 33 passes defensed, 4 stuffs

2017 Prediction: 14 games, 83 tackles, 4 INT, 23 passes defensed, 4 stuffs

2015 Combine Results

40-Yard Dash: 4.38 seconds

Bench Press: 12 reps

Vertical Jump: 41.5 inches

Broad Jump: 129 inches

3-Cone Drill: 6.94 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.14 seconds

Recent Quote (from PFF)

"“In 2015, Darby came in and immediately started for the Bills and as a rookie, earned an incredible 86.1 overall grade — the third-highest PFF overall grade ever for a rookie cornerback. While 2016 was certainly a step back, he at least maintained a strong performance defending the run, and was far from alone in regressing in a Bills’ defense that capitulated over the season. Darby’s ability showed that he can play at elite levels from day one, earned him the selection here over his competition.”"

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Next: Richie Incognito 2017 Player Profile

How do you see Ronald Darby doing as the Buffalo Bills‘ No. 1 cornerback? Leave your thoughts below!