Tyrod Taylor was named Pro Football Focus' Breakout Player of the Year yesterday. One day later, another Buffalo Bills player won an award at the analytics site. Ronald Darby, Buffalo's second round pick in 2015, was named Defensive Rookie of the Year by PFF. Here is what PFF had to say about Darby winning the award:
Darby wasn’t the most heralded cornerback from this draft class heading into the season, and with another rookie leading the league in interceptions and pass breakups, it’s fair to say that he isn’t really getting the credit he deserves at the end of the year. In all honesty, we didn’t see a better performance by a rookie all year, though. Darby stepped right in and started from day one, instantly becoming Buffalo’s best cover corner.
He allowed just four touchdowns all season, all of which came in a two-game span against the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. Darby allowed just 660 receiving yards throughout the year, he was tied for fifth amongst cornerbacks with 13 pass breakups, and finished the year with the ninth-highest coverage grade for corners. There is still plenty of room for Darby to grow, with just two interceptions over the course of the year, and a reception of 20 yards or more allowed in six games in 2015. Nevertheless, it was an impressive rookie campaign that has Bills fans eager for the future, and rightfully so.
Darby finished the season as Pro Football Focus' No. 4 cornerback in the NFL so it's not surprising to see him win the DROY award. Darby showed that he was the best rookie cover corner this season so it's nice to see him being recognized by PFF. Although Darby is more than deserving, it's unlikely that he'll be recognized as DROY at NFL Honors. Instead, Marcus Peters will most likely win the award due to his impressive interception total (8). That being said, playing cornerback is about a lot more than recording interceptions, and as a rookie no cornerback's overall game was better than Darby's.null