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Arizona State Wide Receiver Frank Darby is a High-Upside Option for the Chiefs

If Day 3 of the NFL Draft rolls around and the Kansas City Chiefs are looking for a receiver with potential, Arizona State's Frank Darby is worth considering.

Frank Darby - WR, Arizona State

By the numbers:

6'0", 194 pounds.

2020: Six receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown in two games played.

2019: 31 receptions for 616 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games played.

One reception for 22 yards in the 2021 Senior Bowl.


Arizona State's Frank Darby is a fighter. He boasts plus hand usage early in his reps and is creative in how he gains separation with leverage or unique tweaks in his route-running process. His first few steps are quick and he gets up to speed quickly, pairing that with good agility. 

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Darby was primarily a deep threat in his four-year career with the Sun Devils, able to track the ball well and position his frame where he can make proper adjustments before the catch. Rumblings from both ASU's camp and the Senior Bowl pointed out how much Darby loves football and is willing to work hard, lead and improve. Things like that matter a lot at the next level.


While Darby gets going at an impressive pace, he isn't a great overall athlete. His top speed is just solid, which raises questions about his ability to create separation downfield in the NFL. His lack of elite speed is far from a dealbreaker but nevertheless, it's one of the most obvious holes in his game. 

Darby wasn't always asked to run a full route tree in college. The fact that he was such a menace his junior season despite being mostly a big-play receiver offers lots of room for growth, though. He has the footwork to excel in the short and intermediate passing game and if he can shore up the occasional body catch, that will help matters a ton. 

How Darby fits with the Chiefs:

Far from a finished product, Darby could be a good developmental X-receiver for the Chiefs. He's fundamentally sound, a decent athlete with good size and would be a great cultural fit with the team. His high football IQ, route-running creativity and solid frame would give Andy Reid something he and his staff could mold into an impact player.

Final Thoughts:

Due to his lack of elite-level athleticism, Darby won't be nearly as much of a chunk play threat in the NFL as he was in college. He'll have to win in other ways — expanding to a full route tree, fine-tuning his footwork and catch process — in order to be a starting wide receiver. With that said, the tools are present and there's a chance he rewards a team on their investment. Darby grades out as a fifth-round pick with good upside for that draft slot.

Read More: Arrowhead Report's 100 Players in 100 Days: A Kansas City Chiefs Draft Guide.