We’ve been tracking pre-draft visits and workouts since early March, and one of the lesser-known names receiving a noticeable amount of interest is Baldwin-Wallace defensive end Keith Darbut.
Darbut was the D-3 Ohio Athletic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2010, recording 10.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. He also caught a 40-yard touchdown pass on offense.
And Darbut’s measurables are eye-opening.
Darbut participated at the Akron Pro Day on March 10. Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, the 22-year-old Baldwin-Wallace team captain ran forty times of 4.38 and 4.40 with a 1.42 ten-yard split that would’ve bested all pass rushers at the Combine.
He also recorded a 10-foot-6 broad jump and 38-inch vertical, benching 225 pounds 26 times.
Darbut was invited to Akron’s Pro Day because Baldwin-Wallace defensive coordinator Jim Meyer has a connection to the school: Meyer was the Zips’ defensive ends coach when Jason Taylor played at Akron.
PFT contacted Meyer on Wednesday. The longtime coach wouldn’t quite call Darbut the next Jason Taylor, but acknowledged some similarities between the small-school prospect and NFL’s 2006 Defensive Player of the Year.
“The comparison that I’d make is that their ceilings were really high (coming out of college),” said Meyer. “It’s not gonna be an overnight thing. (Darbut) could be two-thirds of Jason Taylor. Because he has tools. … But somebody’s gotta see that. He has a high ceiling.”
Meyer revealed to PFT that Darbut ran a 4.32 forty during a recent private workout for the Colts.
Per the ProFootballTalk Visits and Workouts Tracker, Darbut has also worked out for the Ravens and Giants, the Dolphins on March 24, and Jaguars on April 18. He had an official, team-facility with the Browns. Considering Darbut’s workout numbers, it’s probably safe to suspect Oakland has interest, too.
Draft websites generally grade Darbut as a priority free agent, but say his stock is on the rise. At 6’4″ and about 230, he projects as an outside linebacker in 3-4 schemes and a potential nickel-rushing end in 4-3 defenses.