Associated Press

PRO 2021 Rookie Spotlight: Frank Darby, WR Arizona State

Rookie Spotlight: Frank Darby, Arizona State
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 194 lbs
Hands: 9 5/8”
Arm: 31 3/8″
40 yard dash: 4.64
NFL Comparison: Quartney Davis

– hard worker with high football IQ
– contested catch specialist
– creative route runner
– tracks ball well in air
– exceptional yards per catch
– solid blocker
– not great after contact
– got better each day through week of Senior Bowl practices

– lets ball into body too often
– low percentage (10%) yards after contact
– lackluster speed
– old for a rookie

Scouting Notes: Darby is old for a rookie, and he’s not exceptional on paper aside from his 21.6 YPC (excluding the shortened 2020 season). It’s not until you watch him on tape (as well at during Senior Bowl practices) and hear what his coaches have to say about him that he pops. The most prominent aspect of Darby’s game is his ability to come down with contested catches with regularity. This is in part due to his ability to track the ball in the air and adjust to it, oftentimes also in the air. As good as he is at bringing in the deep ball, he’s not so proficient at moving the ball after contact – Only 10% of Darby’s yards came after contact. The fact that he has so many contested catches in the first place doesn’t tell a very positive story about his ability to find separation, an issue that could give him trouble at the next level and one of the reasons I think he’d be better suited for the slot. That being said, Darby is a creative route runner who uses a lot of double moves and tricky footwork to get open. He doesn’t always make it look easy and he’s not necessarily a natural. He can let the ball into his body a bit too often, but for the most part Darby has solid hands as well. What you can’t see on tape is his work ethic, and by almost all accounts he has it in spades. Often lauded as the hardest working player on the team, Darby was captain his final year at ASU, and his coaches have gone on about his impressive football IQ and his ability to improve as a player.

Fantasy Outlook: Darby will be drafted for his potential , and if he finds himself on a team that will coach him up, he could become an early contributor. I do see him as potentially being more of an asset in real life more so than fantasy, but the evidence of him being a consistent deep threat can’t be denied. I think of him as more of a flyer in dynasty right now, but that could change depending on his landing spot. A dart-throw only in rookie drafts barring insane testing and/or a dream landing spot.

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