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Bills Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 5 - CB Ronald Darby

Bills Top 20 Talents in 2016: No. 5 - CB Ronald Darby
Posted at 10:48 AM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 10:48:57-04

In under two months, the Buffalo Bills will get to work at St. John Fisher College for training camp and the 2016 season. And this year, with how the team ended things in 2015, is extremely important to not waste the talent that exists on the roster.

So, as offseason workouts continue at One Bills Drive, WKBW will preview the roster — and more specifically, the top talent that exists on the roster that can help the Bills to putting an end to the playoff drought. You’ll be introduced to the Bills’ ‘Top 20 Talents.’

It's a bit of a different 'most talented' list, because it also takes other factors into consideration. The countdown criteria:

- Overall skill level
- On-the-field performance
- Projection based on film study over the past several years
- Age, and improving/declining ability

With that written, on to the countdown:

No. 5 - CB Ronald Darby

Age: 22 (1/2/94)

Height: 5'11”

Weight: 193

Last year’s rank: 14

Why he’s here

- I think it's safe to say, judging on the history of young cornerbacks in the National Football League, not many expected the type of impact Ronald Darby had in his rookie season. Instead of a steady incline, Darby went way ahead of the trend with a sharp uptick in production based on his experience level. He became a trusted entity after just a few games, regardless of constant badgering attempts by opposing offenses. He had some lapses, as do all cornerbacks, but Darby was integral in locking down a position that plays such a vital role in Rex Ryan's defensive scheme. Darby turned 22 less than half-a-year ago, which means it is quite fair to expect many years of this type of production to come. The key for Darby now is to increase his ability to change the game, and force some passes defended into more turnovers. If he can do that, he'll be up among the top talents on the team for the forseeable future.

2016 outlook

- As was the case last season, Darby will once again be the staring cornerback on one side of the field, and Stephon Gilmore will man the opposite side. With the Bills committing even more so to Rex Ryan's normal defensive scheme for the 2016 season, the pressure on Darby will only increase as the Bills try to send unique pressures and blitzes at opposing quarterbacks. He'll be entrusted to play press-man coverage for the majority of the season, and to give the front seven enough time to make their mark, and in total, to help the defense get back to their lofty status from the 2014 season.

Top 20 Talents Countdown

5) CB Ronald Darby

6) EDGE Jerry Hughes

7) HB LeSean McCoy

8) LG Richie Incognito

9) QB Tyrod Taylor

10) DL Kyle Williams

11) EDGE Shaq Lawson

12) TE Charles Clay

13) LB Reggie Ragland

14) C Eric Wood

15) WR Robert Woods

16) S Aaron Williams

17) HB Karlos Williams

18) P Colton Schmidt

19) LB Preston Brown

20) S Corey Graham

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia