Jaelon Darden WR North Texas "Slow feet, don't eat!"

This kid is crazy quick and fast…but small, only 5’9"-175lbs. I’d still like to see him on our roster, might make a good slot receiver and punt returner.
The kid is lightning in a bottle!

2020 stats
74 receptions
1140 yards
16.1 yards per catch
19 Touchdowns

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He’s got a preternatural gift for finding space. He always gets more out of a play than it looks like is there with the naked eye. One of my favorite players in the whole draft.

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I LOVE that guy. He can be impactful next year for sure. He’s like Danny Amendola if he had Darnell Mooney’s athleticism

Like to see this guy at around No. 112 overall.

Plenty of players in the NFL that are 5’9" or less. Ameer Abdullah. Steve Smith. Wes Welker. Maurice Jones-Drew. Darren Sproles. This guy is quicker and shiftier than anyone I’ve ever seen, except maybe Barry Sanders. I’m taking him with my first 3rd round pick, IF he is still available (which I doubt.)

I like him. Here is how I rank the “lightning bugs”

J Waddle- top 6-12 overall = zero value at #7 imho. With a trade down to #10-12 I’d consider him with an extra 2nd in tow… heck I suggested trading down to #10 with Dallas and picking up M Gallup. That hypothetical trade plus adding Waddle would give us a really nice WR room with diversity of skill sets!

Elijah Moore- very late 1st- early 2nd = solid value even in a trade up. He comps somewhere between Tyler Lockett and Ty Hill. Super crisp routes, amazing change of direction, 22 reps at his size shows his strength. I don’t think he tracks deep balls quite like Lockett, or is quite as a xplosove as hill obviously, but call him a solid blend of the 2… a better Brandin Cooks.

Darden/Eskridge/R Moore- I’d take any of them in round 3, and again if we could swing a Dallas trade involving Gallup it would solidify the WR room in 2021. Value in round 3= excellent

My preference is E Moore after trading down in 1, adding a 2nd and 3rd…then trading up to top of 2 to take him

Trade down

  1. C Barmore
  2. E Moore- trade up with 4th
  3. A Learherwood/W Davis/L Eichenberg
  4. D Moses/J Cox
  5. ???- FS

The REAL numbers…“Darden ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash (63rd percentile) at his pro day, which is good in a vacuum but not great at only 174 pounds. He displayed phenomenal short-area quickness, posting a 6.66-second three-cone drill (93rd) and 3.98-second short shuttle (97th).” He measured 5’7.5"…

5’7 1/2" isn’t going in Rd 3

For University of North Texas wide receiver Jaelon Darden, motivation to be great has never been a challenge.

“There’s a big chip on my shoulder because a lot of people judge by the looks, which is basically the size,” Darden said. “They don’t see the real me on the inside. They don’t see the heart I have.”

Jaelon is expected to be the first North Texas football player to be taken in an NFL draft since 2004 and impressed 29 NFL scouts at Mean Green Pro Day with an unofficial 40-yard dash at 4.46 seconds, and then later, running quick, crisp routes while catching everything thrown his way.

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“I was nervous a little bit leading up to it,” Darden said. “But once I got on the field, that’s kind of my nature zone. That’s where I relieve my stress. And I think I did a great job out here.”

The Houston native is small in size at 5’7”, but his stats at UNT were huge, as an all-American in 2020, Darden hauled in 19 touchdown grabs in 9 games for the Mean Green, on his way to becoming North Texas’s all-time leading receiver.

“It was unbelievable,” said North Texas head football coach Seth Littrell. “It makes calling plays a lot easier with a guy like that. You can always count on him, he has very reliable hands and you know he’s always going to get open. He’s one of those players that don’t come along very often and we are very blessed to have coached him.”

I thought he would have run a bit faster than he did, to be honest, it might drop him into the 4th to 5th round range. Short, light, not elite fast…I think he drops. I still loves his quickness but some measurables can’t be ignored.

I remember watching that video when you posted it 3 months ago and being impressed. I’d be fine taking him at #72. I’m not worried about his 40 time. He’s as fast as Barry Sanders was and Goff is accurate enough to get him the ball in good positions.

I’d be pretty disappointed if Barmore was the most “elite” prospect we got out of this draft.

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Rondale Moore measured 5’7" and 180 pounds… and has some buzz that got Peter Schrager to have in the 1st round of his mock draft. Schrager could be getting bad info… but he seems to get some solid tips from sources at times too.

I know they are not the same player… just saying the height is not a huge deal for his slot role.

Tutu Atwell measured in at 5’8 and 155 pounds.

I am not sure where he will end up getting drafted… but interesting that Darden weighs almost 20 pounds more with only 1/2 inch height difference.

Barry ran a 4.37.

That was hand timed and unverified. Also, Barry never showed that type of speed on the field.

Given that comparing anyone to Barry is always wrong, Darden starts and stops in a millisecond and rarely gets hit hard because of his quicks, kind of like Barry.

We shall see. I watched a guy in Barmore that looked like a 6-8 sack a year interior DL player waiting to happen…

I’d rather have a 6-8 sack DT penetrating next to a Brockers than just about any other position upgrade in the draft.

Barmore, E Moore, Richie Grant, and J Cox and Darden would improve our team.

Rondale Moore’s listed size at Purdue was 5’9”. My bet is that 2 inch shorter measurement means he doesn’t go in the top 50.

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I don’t dislike him as a player. He does get washed out more in the run game than he should but he’s got some upside. If we trade down there are several defenders I’d prefer.

Milton Williams is the DT I want. Though I’d think he’s more of a chess piece. Total freak athlete. I’m hoping that he might last to our 3rd round pick on account of arm length and lack of girth but that seems kind of unlikely.

I do like the players you selected. I like both Moore and Darden a bunch but I’d rather get one outside WR if we double dip (and I hope that we do).

I would be surprised to see Rondale go in round #1 as well… and I wouldn’t be shocked if he falls out of top 50 given the depth at WR.

For Jaelon Darden… was trying to think of a good player comp for him now that we know his size.

At first… was thinking of Jakeem Grant.
Grant is 5578 tall, and weighed 165lb. at pro day.
He ran 4.37 in 40 at pro day (no combine), had similar short shuttle 4.03) , but not as good in 3-cone (7.03) as Darden.
I think Grant was a little more raw as a route runner coming out.
Grant gets the edge as kick/punt returner.

Then I thought of Jamison Crowder.
Crowder measured 5838 (so 7/8 inch taller than Darden) and 185 pounds.
Crowder ran 4.56 in 40 at combine, and same 4.46 as Darden at pro day.
He had a 4.26 in the SS, and a 3-cone at 6.99 seconds.
Crowder was also a very productive punt returner, taking 5 for TDs at Duke.
Crowder was also very productive as a WR at Duke, and I think he looks like a better comp to Darden as a WR.

FWIW… Crowder was drafted #105 in 2015 in early 4th round.

I guess I agree with your thinking… 4th round may be the best Darden can hope for… especially in a deep WR class.

Grant is a much better returner but can’t sniff Darden as a WR. I think Darden is much more Crowder like. I think in between the lines Darden is more explosive though.

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