From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Amara Darboh/WR/Michigan — 6’2”, 218 Lbs
-Good size and above-average arm length for position
-Transitions smoothly in middle of routes
-Able to adjust his routes in middle of play to put himself in best throwing window for QB
-Able to make catches through contact
-Very savvy route runner with plenty of patience
-Appears slow on tape in terms of play speed
-Doesn’t seem twitched up for position despite good testing numbers-Relies on body catches too often
-Tends to go down on first contact after the catch
-Won’t be a big-play guy after the catch
-Lacks physicality and technique as a blocker
-Became a US citizen in 2015 after family fled from war-torn Sierra Leon when he was a young child
-Appeared in 49 games, making 28 starts
-Team’s top receiver with 151 catches for 2,062 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career
-Had at least one reception in 33 consecutive games, which is the fourth longest consecutive streak in school history
-2016 All-Big Ten second team
-2015 All-Big Ten honorable mention
If you’re looking for a flashy, game-breaking receiver, Michigan’s Amara Darboh is sadly not your man. However, if you want a consistent, chain-moving receiver that goes about his business quietly and does whatever is asked of him, well, then Darboh just might be the guy you want to take a chance on in the middle rounds of the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
Playing in a Pro Style offense at Michigan for the last four years, Darboh has quietly put together a solid career, averaging just over 3 receptions a game for the Wolverines.
Sure, that number isn’t anywhere near flashy, but in a Pro Style offense that relies heavily on running the ball, 3 receptions and just under 43 receiving yards a game, while serving as a consistent chain mover should entice an offense at the next level looking for guys that show up every week.
With Darboh, that’s what you get.
He’s not a homerun threat, but he’s a guy who’s going to come up with the tough contested catches in a big spot in games, playing a key role in leading his team to a win.
Against Ohio State, Darboh had one of his best games of the season, hauling in eight passes for 68 yards and a score in Columbus.
Like the clip above, Darboh did a great job all day of using his body to shield the ball away from defenders, allowing him to secure the football.
However, he rarely catches the ball with his hands, which is concerning. Despite being a consistent pass catcher, he relies on trapping the ball against his body to make the catch.
Granted, this throw from Wilton Speights was a low throw, so he has to go down and catch it like this, but it just seems to be the type of catch you see him make a ton on tape.
I’m not overly knocking on it because he makes it work so well, but there are times where he seems satisfied catching it and falling down just to secure the yardage, rather than making something happen after the catch.
That being said, I love the way he gets in and out of his break quickly here and gets his head around to find the ball, creating ample separation against Gareon Conley, who will hear his name called at the end of the month as well.
As a route runner, Darboh is very technical and really knows how to work himself open. That starts with a great jump at the snap, allowing him to beat the defensive back quickly.
Just look at how he turns Marshon Lattimore around the snap, allowing him to get into the end zone for the score.
Again, a diving catch, trapping the ball against his chest, but the result is largely based on his great get-off, spinning Lattimore like a top.
Like I said earlier, he’s not a flashy guy and really won’t blow you away with his play on the field, but if there’s upside with this guy, it’s due to his spider chart, which is quite outstanding for a guy who appears slow and deliberate on film.
If I’m a team searching for a consistent No. 2 option outside that I can rely on in big spots, I’m waiting until late-3rd, early-4th to snatch up Darboh.
He could wind up being one of the steals of the draft at wide receiver.
Projection: Mid-Late Day Two
Games watched: at Utah (’15), vs. Northwestern (’15), vs. Illinois (’16), at Ohio State (’16)