Buried down the depth chart, Frank Darby spent his first three years at Arizona State behind first-round picks N’Keal Harry and Brandon Aiyuk. The 2020 season brought the spotlight to Frank Darby and the potential to add to the list of explosive, highly-drafted Sun Devil receivers. Unfortunately, Frank Darby suffered an injury in the second game of the season and we weren’t able to see his full potential.
Frank Darby finished his collegiate career with 67 receptions for 1,317 yards and 13 touchdowns. His most productive season came in 2019 when Darby finished the season with 31 receptions for 616 yards and eight touchdowns. The most impressive part of Darby’s resume was his career 19.7 yards per reception.
There are many issues with Darby’s statistical profile. The first of which was his lack of games played. Across four seasons, Darby only played in 28 games. He also never had a season with more than 35 receptions or 650 yards. This raises concern for Frank Darby’s ability to produce consistently as an NFL receiver.
Frank Darby’s explosiveness jumps off the screen. It is easy to see why even though the college production wasn’t ideal he still makes for a fascinating receiver to watch in the 2021 class. While Darby is mostly used as a down-field weapon, his threatening speed opens up the underneath game for himself and everyone else on the roster. Darby is a twitchy athlete who can stop on a dime and understands leverage and body positioning well.
While Darby is a very explosive pass-catcher, his game is far from perfect. His route tree was simple at Arizona State and he will have to learn to do more than run screens and deep routes to be a true threat at the next level. Darby does well creating initial separation but oftentimes lets defenders back in on the play by not attacking the ball.
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