To finish off their six(!) picks on day two of the NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks went back to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan to select wide receiver Amara Darboh. Darboh is another inspiring story, moving to the United States at age seven from Sierra Leone, after he had lost both his parents in the war in his home country. Darboh only learned English upon arriving in the U.S.A., and officially became an American citizen in September 2016. He’s an incredibly easy to root for story, and a really fun player to watch play.
Of all the mid-to-late round receivers drafted in the Pete Carroll era - the Kevin Norwoods, the Kenny Lawlers, the Chris Harpers - Darboh has the best chance to become a starter for the Seahawks. He has the size (close to 6’2” and 214 pounds), he has the athleticism (4.45 forty, 3’ vertical jump, 10’04” broad jump) and boy, does he have the ability. Darboh steadily improved every year at the University of Michigan, culminating in a great 57-catch, 862-yard and seven touchdown 2016.
The 18th highest SPARQ score among all draft eligible receivers this year, in Darboh you see the kind of receiver you think can dominate a game. He’s got the physique, route-running and athletic ability you want in a starting receiver, but more than that he plucks the ball out of the air like it’s his birthright. For all that Jermaine Kearse does right, his complacency while the ball is in the air will drive you to insanity; in Darboh, there is no complacency, only going up and getting what is his.
This is far and away the pick I’m most excited about today so let me try and spin something not all that negative, into a negative. He struggles after the catch. There isn’t an immediate turn up field like Doug Baldwin, nor an electricity in the air like Tyler Lockett. He looks like a 6’2”, 214-pound receiver in the open field, and that’s OK. The Seahawks receiving core is stacked with backcourt players, and today John Schneider delivered Russell Wilson his power forward to play above the rim.
For years now, the Seahawks have been crying out for a possession receiver and finally, that call has been answered. Amara Darboh should be around for a long time.