With the 50th selection in the 2015 draft, Buffalo selected who they believed to be the best player available in Florida State cornerback Ronald Darby. A former All-ACC selection, Ronald Darby figures to instantly contribute and provide security at what is already a position of strength. Bills general manager and his staff saw the selection of Darby as an easy one.
"Well three factors: one we said at the beginning of this thing we were going to take the best player and he was the highest rated player on the board," said Whaley. "Two, yes the fact that we can take a corner every year. Three, with the additions that the other teams have made this draft in our division, we need to keep up with the arms race, but most importantly we think this guy is a heck of a football player."
Although he grew up as a Washington Redskins fan, Darby is ecstatic to join the Bills organization. After a career of team and individual success, the Oxon Hill, MD native declared for the draft a year early. His wait is now over, and Darby could not be more ecstatic to be a Buffalo Bill.
"It's a blessing," said Darby. "I couldn't ask for much more. I'm just ready to get out there, develop more as a player, and show what I can do as a player, and just get better and make plays for the Bills."
A defensive-minded head coach, Rex Ryan will have another physical cornerback to work with. While many believed the Bills would address the offensive line with their first pick, Whaley and his staff saw the talents of Darby as too much to pass up.
"Physical, not only against ball carriers but also as a press guy," Whaley said. "Rex is a press guy. His physical attributes--height, weight and obviously blazing speed. The production wasn't as high this year but he also wasn't challenged that much this year. We think this guy has an upside and the benefit of coming in and learning behind some quality corners is going to help this guy."
Although his accolades proved his worth as a lockdown cornerback at Florida State, Darby only recorded two career interceptions. Many believed that a lack of production caused his draft stock to slip into round two. Darby attributes his low number of interceptions to the small amount of times he was thrown at.
"I wasn't getting targeted for more than two, three times a game," said Darby. "It was really difficult to make as many plays as I wanted to and sometimes when the ball do get near me for the first time in a week or so, I would get so anxious and overthink things."
As he prepares for a career in the NFL, Darby believes that his team-first mentality will help serve him and his new team both in the short and long term.
"(I'm) extremely ready," said Darby. "I just want to come in, learn and get where I fit in. Just want to go out there and compete. I'm no big trash talker. I'm not a guy to walk around, act like I'm the man and this and that. I know my place and I know what is expected of me so I'm just ready to come in and compete."