Photo of Alden Darby
Grade
5.17 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 5'10" Height
  • 192LBS. Weight

Overview

Grew up poor in a dangerous part of Long Beach, Calif. Biological parents were in and out of jail, and Alden did not have a place to call home, often seeking out family members and teammates' families for a bed to sleep in. Was raised by his stepfather, who steered him to Millikan High instead of powerhouse Cal Poly so Alden could earn his keep and make his own name. Played quarterback, receiver, defensive back and kick returner but was lightly recruited before qualifying academically and landing a scholarship at ASU. As a true freshman in 2010, played 11 games and was credited with 14 tackles and no pass breakups or interceptions. Played all 13 games in 2011, starting the final two as a nickelback, and collected 51 tackles, three pass breakups, three interceptions (one TD) and a tackle for loss. Started all 27 games the next two seasons at boundary safety. In 2012, he totaled 80 tackles, seven pass breakups, three interceptions (one TD), 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble in 13 games. In 2013, he totaled 72 tackles, nine pass breakups, four interceptions, two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 14 games. Team captain was the first ASU player given the Pat Tillman Practice Jersey, which head coach Todd Graham gives to those who embody the positive characteristics of the football program and the university. Did not bench press at his pro day (shoulder).

Analysis

Strengths

Versatile and has played every position in the secondary -- safety, corner and nickel back. Football smart -- makes the secondary calls and checks. Good strength and pop on contact. Highly respected team leader with a team-first attitude. Outstanding football character. Valuable special teams contributor with gunner experience. Displayed playmaking ability vs. USC the last two years.

Weaknesses

Is tall in his pedal (rises). Has man-coverage limitations (average speed and agility to keep phase vertically). Can become a more consistent, secure tackler -- plays a bit out of control. Does not show range to get deep over the top and leverage the field from the deep middle (late to arrive). Not a natural hands catcher.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6-7

Bottom Line

A true tweener, Darby is built like a cornerback but lacks the foot speed to match up 1-on-1 with receivers and does not have ideal bulk for the safety position. Has overcome a lot of adversity in his life, was recognized as the first player to don Pat Tillman's jersey in practice for his hard work and leadership and has make-it intangibles that could resonate with a coaching staff and inspire a locker room. Is worth trying as a zone corner, could add depth to a secondary and compete on special teams.
-Nolan Nawrocki
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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