Draft sleeper: Baldwin-Wallace pass rusher Keith Darbut

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.

18 responses to “Draft sleeper: Baldwin-Wallace pass rusher Keith Darbut

  1. Considering Darbut’s workout numbers, it’s probably safe to suspect Oakland has interest, too.

    don’t forget the Redskins in that case.

    And I hate to say this, but the Eagles have a track record of drafting undersized small school DEs (they also have a track record, except for Cole, of failing miserably at it). A D3 DE that weighs 230 fits that bill.

  2. wow…those numbers are shocking for a man of his size. that being said, he will still need to bulk up a little to play in the NFL.

  3. Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds


    I’m not certain, but I don’t think he can stand up an play LB — there are Safeties in the NFL bigger than he is.

  4. They asked Keith Darbut if he wanted to submit himself for the NFL Draft. He said no, but did offer to let the NFL Draft to submit to him. Before he resorted to the use of force.

  5. He’s got a 6 min highlight clip on YouTube. Let’s just say his level of comp was borderline high school…maybe worse. But hey…a definite camp invite.

  6. 230lb defensive lineman? eagles will probably grab him in the 3rd round, hold on to him for 3 years, then try and trade him for a 1st or 2nd rounder and do the whole process all over again

  7. As much as I hate the G-Men, you can’t go wrong with a DE they are interested in. Look at their history dating back to Strahan: Tuck, Umenyiora = Pro Bowlers, Kiwanuka and Piere Paul = Starters on most teams with a lot of potential, heck even Dave Tollefson could start for a handful of teams.

  8. Great measurables, but I would have expected more prolific game stats considering he was playing D3 competition. How will he translate to the pro level?

    My wild ass guess (without any knowledge other than this article): late round/undrafted Vernon Gholston.

  9. Bob –

    Keep in mind that Baldwin-Wallace only plays ten games. So he averaged over a sack per.

  10. dccowboy says:
    Apr 20, 2011 2:15 PM
    Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds


    I’m not certain, but I don’t think he can stand up an play LB — there are Safeties in the NFL bigger than he is.

    There isn’t a saftey in the NFL is over 6’3 and of the four who are close or at 230lbs only one starts.

    When Robert Mathis came into the NFL he was around 230 and hes two inchs shorter at 6’2. If this kid works and ends up in a good situation he could be solid.

  11. I’m a student at B-W and this guy is a beast. He plays in a 3-4 and still dominates. He has moves, he has strength and according to his 40 times he has speed.

    Best of luck to this guy and AWWW JACKETS!

  12. No different than what teams are looking to do with Nevada’s Dontay Moch. No less than a 2 year project player, add some bulk to him, in 34 play the rush OLB, in the 43 he could play either the Sam or the Will. If your looking for another comparison, & you will see why Cleveland made him an official visit, Browns DE/OLB Marcus Benard from Jackson State. 7.5 sacks last year as a rush LB who was injured & unable to be an everydown player. As a rookie in only 6 games, Benard logged 3.5 sacks.
    Same with the example above of Jason Taylor & other small school players & overlooked players continue to make big names in the NFL.

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