2014 NFL Draft Profile: S Alden Darby

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

One of Arizona State's most electrifying players will wait to hear his name called this weekend.

Alden Darby has been the heart and soul of Arizona State's secondary for the past four seasons, and was the first player to receive the honorary Pat Tillman practice jersey. The safety saw significant time in all four of his seasons and looks to take his game to the highest level next season.

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 195 pounds

College Career: Darby burst onto the scene early, starting 11 games as a true freshman in 2010, and didn't slow down, starting all 27 of the team's games in his junior and senior seasons. He recorded 10 interceptions in his career and knocked down 26 passes. He had 217 tackles in his career, 155 of which were solo and 8.5 of which were for a loss. He was named to the First Team All-Pac-12 in 2013. Internally he also took home the Frank Kush Captains Award and Tim Landers Iron Man Award in 2013.

Strengths: When quarterbacks see Darby in the secondary, they either find another target or find the ball in his hands. Darby's game is a ballhawking safety over the top, but is also effective defending against the run. He is aggressive jumping into the play, both against a designed run or fighting a broken play when the quarterback tucks it and runs. He also has NFL-caliber play on special teams. His play in the 2014 East-West Shrine Game also helped his draft stock.

Weaknesses: Even for a safety, Darby is undersized, standing about three inches shorter and weighing in about 20 pounds less than an average NFL safety. His speed can only do so much for him when it comes to tackling, where he may have troubles with bigger receivers. He is stronger in zone coverage than in man.

Outlook: With the strength of safeties in the draft, it will be tough for Darby to slide in among some of the elite ones. On the plus side, what he is able to do on the punt and kickoff units will add that level of versatility to his game. Whether its on the last day of the draft or after it ends, Darby should find his way into an NFL camp.

Round Projection: 7th-undrafted free agent

Prediction: Undrafted free agent signed by the San Diego Chargers

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