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ASU WR Frank Darby drawing attention before 2021 Senior Bowl

Arizona State wide receiver Frank Darby (84) scores a touchdown against Southern California during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. USC won 31-26. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Former Arizona State Sun Devil wideout Frank Darby is making a name for himself in the runup to the 2021 Senior Bowl.

During practices on Tuesday, he won a few reps that caught highlight reels for scouts and draft analysts in attendance.

Darby, who finished his four-year career in Tempe with 1,317 receiving yards on 67 receptions with 13 receiving touchdowns, was listed on The Draft Network as a player to keep an eye on ahead of the annual exhibition.

The sure-handed wideout is the third Sun Devil receiver, after N’Keal Harry and Brandon Aiyuk, to make the site’s list since 2018.

The Draft Network’s Ryan Fowler writes that Darby has the right mixture of size, agility and skill to draw attention from scouts and coaches at the event, which will be held on Saturday.

At just 6-foot-1, he doesn’t flash from a frame standpoint. It’s his footwork, toughness, and route-running that set him apart from some of the other receivers in Mobile this week. Darby’s feet are as smooth as silk, and what he lacks in speed he makes up for in his craftiness and artistry running routes.

Darby is good in the passing game due to his toughness and competitiveness. He gets off the line with good releases due to his foot quickness and hand usage. He then creates separation against man coverage with creative route-running and sufficient separation quickness at the top of the route.

Darby also drew the praise of ESPN draft guru Todd McShay, who picked the senior wideout as a prospect that will draw a lot of attention this week after his Sun Devils went 2-2 this past year.

Arizona State wideout Frank Darby was limited to two contests (and six catches) … NFL scouts haven’t seen much from a lot of players this season, and in some cases, nothing at all. So it’s critical for guys who played sparingly or opted out to show up in great shape and prove they’ve progressed as players despite the lack of game action.

Darby finished second on the Sun Devils in receiving yards in his last full season, in 2019, hauling in 31 catches for 616 yards and eight touchdowns.

He finished second on the team in those two categories behind Aiyuk, who was drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

Whether Darby will join Aiyuk and Harry as a first-round draft pick in 2021 is yet to be determined. What seems clear as of now is that Darby’s pro prospects are already on people’s minds heading into this weekend’s exhibition in Mobile, Ala.


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