Ronald Darby didn’t make a pre-draft visit to the Buffalo Bills, but said he quickly felt “home” after arriving in Western New York.
“Everything feels like a dream still,” said Darby, the Bills’ second-round draft pick who was introduced to the local media Saturday. “It happened so fast.”
Darby had barely had time to introduce himself to Rex Ryan when he spoke to the media Saturday, but the coach’s reputation precedes him.
“From his past, it’s a blessing,” Darby said. “Being around someone who’s done what he’s done, I’m just ready to come in and learn as much as I can.”
Ryan is best known for the work he’s done with Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis – a player Darby said he’s looked up to. Getting a player like Revis would be a dream for the Bills, but at least in the short term they’ll just need him to provide competition at a deep position on the Bills’ roster.
“I just want to contribute where it is, whether it’s on special teams, whether it’s on defense,” he said. “If it ain’t my time at the time, I’m going to learn as much as I can so I can better myself for when it is my time.”
Darby will have at least one thing in common with Revis in the coming season in that they’ll both face Tom Brady twice.
“I haven’t really though about that yet,” Darby said. “Thanks for reminding me. I was just happy I was here.”
Darby left school with a year of eligibility remaining, saying he consulted with his family and felt it was the right time to “prove myself.”
That’s something he didn’t get a ton of chances to do at Florida State. Darby was targeted once every 10.1 snaps in 2014, according to the Bills, the fewest of any cornerback in this year’s class.
“Real hard thing, going into a game knowing that you will get the ball thrown your way once, twice every week,” he said. “I have fun in practice. I like to compete in practice.”
Darby, 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, was a boundary cornerback for the Seminoles. He ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. His physical attributes outweigh his college production, which was limited to 79 tackles, two interceptions and 16 passes defensed in three seasons.
“I feel as I did all I could do throughout the process,” Darby said of preparing for the draft. “When it came to the combine, the pro day, I went into everything feeling happy. I wasn’t afraid or anything.”
During Darby’s college career, the Seminoles went 39-3, so it wasn’t a surprise to hear him say, “I’m not used to losing.”
It did raise some eyebrows, however, when he said, “I was around things, but you can’t control what you’re around.” That was in reference to the off-the-field situations Darby was involved with in college.
That included being in the apartment the night Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston was accused of rape and being a passenger in a car driven by teammate P.J. Williams that was involved in a hit-and-run accident.
“I really didn’t have to do nothing at all,” Darby said of convincing the Bills he wouldn’t be a problem of the field. “I was never the one getting in trouble or things like that.”
Darby said Winston is “a great dude.”
“He will give you the shirt off his back,” Darby said. “Everyone makes mistakes. Getting in the spotlight, he can’t do the things that other people can do, because he’s in the spotlight.”
Story topics: Ronald Darby