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Broncos roster review: cornerback Ronald Darby

With two former Broncos cornerbacks leaving in free agency how do the Broncos cornerbacks stack up with everyone else?

Philadelphia Eagles v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Ronald Darby played for Florida State during their early 2010’s run, Darby played on the Florida State defense that only allowed 15.1 points per game and as a freshman won ACC Rookie of the Year and was named a Freshman All-American. In 2013 for the Seminoles Darby started in nine games including the BCS National Championship game that Florida State won. After starting in all 14 games for Florida State Darby declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

While playing for the Seminoles Darby racked up 78 tackles, two interceptions, 16 passes defended, and to top it all off forced two fumbles and recovered one.

#23 Ronald Darby
5’11” 193 Ibs.
College: Florida State

Ronald Darby was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. In his rookie year, Darby was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team. where he played two seasons for the Bills until being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles where he spent three years. In 2020 Darby left the Eagles in free agency for the now Washington Commanders and after playing all 16 games Darby inked a three-year $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos in 2021.

How Darby fits with the Broncos

Darby while in high school was not only a great football player he was a great sprinter as well, he won a bronze medal in the 200m race at the 2011 World Youth Championships, and he also placed fourth in the 100m race at the same event. Darby being a Maryland state champion sprinter brings his speed to the field. At the NFL Draft combine, Darby ran a really impressive 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, so if one thing is for certain Darby has speed and a lot of it.

Darby although is not the biggest cornerback can jam receivers at the line really well, he is smart in zone coverage and he is really explosive.

Darby does struggle with his size he's got short arms and hands, and he also has issues with converting interception opportunities only having a combined 10 interceptions across his college career and NFL career. Darby also has questionable ball skills. As a tackler, Darby has a frightening form when approaching the ball carrier.

In a 2015 scouting report done by Bleacher Report, they compared Darby to another Broncos star at the time, Chris Harris Jr. they said, “A smooth, athletic, explosive cornerback with the skills to play in the slot or on the boundary, Darby has the potential to be a Chris Harris-like corner in the pros.”

Final thoughts

With Bryce Callahan leaving for AFC West rival Los Angles Chargers and Kyle Fuller leaving for the Baltimore Ravens, Darby is primed for a good season for the Broncos. Darby will most likely be starting alongside standout rookie Patrick Surtain II.

Darby with his age may worry some people as most defensive backs are younger players, so there is a chance Darby does take a step back. At the lowest, I can see Michael Ojemudia or even K’Waun Williams getting the nod over Darby, although I think it is unlikely because it will take Darby slowing down and Ojemudia or Williams taking a big leap. Out of those two, I believe Ojemudia has the better chance to steal Darby’s starting spot as he is only 24 and had a really solid rookie year.