When the Buffalo Bills drafted Ronald Darby in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, they were hopeful that he would establish himself as the top dog in the Buffalo secondary before long. They probably weren’t anticipating that he would come into that role following a complete turnover of the coaching staff and front office, and the free agency departure of their former number one cornerback.
At 23 years old, and entering his third NFL season, Darby is the longest-tenured defensive back on Buffalo’s roster. The only other returnees from the start of last season are 2016 sixth round pick Kevon Seymour and veteran safety Colt Anderson, who spent almost the entire year on an injury list.
Who’s new to this roster?
|S||Micah Hyde||Signed 5 year, $30.5 million deal|
|S||Jordan Poyer||Signed 4 year, $13 million deal|
|S||Trae Elston||2016 UDFA, claimed off waivers in April|
|S||Shamiel Gary||2014 UDFA, signed from practice squad in December|
|CB||Charles James||2013 UDFA, claimed off waivers in May|
|CB||Leonard Johnson||Signed 1 year, $855 thousand deal|
|CB||Greg Maybin||2017 UDFA, signed one year rookie deal in June|
|S||Joe Powell||2016 UDFA, joined Buffalo practice squad in October, signed from practice squad in January|
|S||B.T. Sanders||2017 UDFA, signed three year rookie deal in May|
|CB||Marcus Sayles||2017 UDFA, signed three year rookie deal in April|
|CB||Bradley Sylve||2016 UDFA, signed one year deal in April|
|CB||Tre'Davious White||2017 first round draft choice, signed four year rookie deal in May|
|CB||Shareece Wright||Signed one year, $775 thousand deal|
That’s not a pretty list, but in year one of the Sean McDermott regime, it will have to suffice. Luckily, Darby isn’t going it alone. He has a fresh, technically advanced cornerback joining him in LSU product Tre’davious White. White has already made several standout plays during the offseason minicamps. Seymour has earned praise from two consecutive coaching staffs, and Hyde was good enough to earn that lucrative contract in the first place.
Thus far in practice, Darby has played closer to the caliber that nearly earned him a Defensive Rookie of the Year award than the sophomore slump he experience last year, with Bills reporter Chris Brown remarking on his playmaking. The Bills are counting on him to keep it up into the regular season.