For many players expected to be late round selections or undrafted free agents, garnering attention from NFL scouts and organizations can be difficult. For Alden Darby, the former Sun Devil safety has had no problem catching the eye of potential suitors.
At Arizona State's Pro Day on Friday, Darby opened up about a handful of organizations that have expressed a desire to meet with, workout, and talk to the three-year Sun Devil starter in person. After his Pro Day drills, Darby spoke with the media about his busy calendar leading up to the NFL Draft in May.
"I got one (a workout) set up with the Patriots on the 17th, and then the Cardinals want to do something, so they're going to give me a call...and the Ravens."
Amidst that remark, Darby actually mentioned one more NFL squad he'll workout with, although our audio from the interview was muffled (Our best guess was Bears or Redskins, but we're not into making things up).
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound playmaker said he has also by contacted by teams about his versatility, because some scouts and evaluators want to add late round selections who can fill a variety of team needs.
"A Chargers coach asked me to play all three, I can play corner, safety, and nickel, so it's really where they need me that I'll play," Darby said.
At Pro Day, Darby was asked if he was disappointed about not receiving an invitation to the NFL Combine in February. The former Sun Devil captain admitted he would have enjoyed participating, but he also said he hasn't let that affect him and change his mindset or draft preparations.
Without combine workouts, Pro Day took on extra importance for many Sun Devils like Darby. The Southern California native said he had a few goals coming into the day, which included the chance to show off his improved agility from more flexible hips.
"I just wanted to go out there and just show them that I'm fluid in my hips and that I'm a good DB," Darby said.
Darby said that coaches from the Arizona Cardinals led the defensive back position drills at Pro Day and that they were interested in seeing how he performed. Though it's hard to gauge immediately following a workout, Darby said he was satisfied with his efforts.
"The coach from the Cardinals kind of worked us out a lot, the DBs, got us sweating and everything like that," Darby said. "Also, I thought I did well, like I came here and did what I wanted to do, no regrets at all."
The Sun Devils will surely miss Darby's presence in the secondary next season. An outspoken leader with a knack for the big play (especially against USC), Darby had the ability to ignite a fire from his teammates in a matter of a single play. Now, he's hoping that same mentality will allow him to transition from college-level starter to NFL contributor. And so far, he knows the scouts like what they see.
"They all love me, they love my character, they love my work ethic and they know I can play," Darby said. "It doesn't matter who wants me."
Players with Darby's passion and desire to work hard often have a better chance of sticking in the NFL for the final roster spots or to a practice squad position. After being doubted out of high school as a 2-star recruit and facing questions about his ability out of college as a possible undrafted free agent, Darby is ready to embrace whatever team gives him his first shot.