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A.J. Derby | Tight End

Team: Arkansas Razorbacks
Age / DOB:  (23) / 9/20/1991
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 232

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Patriots selected Arkansas TE A.J. Derby with the No. 202 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Derby (6'4/255) played two years at Arkansas after transferring from community college, spending the first as a backup quarterback and the second at tight end. He caught 22 balls for 303 yards and three TDs as a senior. Originally a four-star recruit to Iowa, Derby plays with physicality and toughness, and offers plus athleticism with 4.72 speed and a 6.99 three-cone time. Turning 24 before his rookie year, Derby is an overaged project, but we wouldn't rule out the possibility of him becoming an NFL contributor. He is a natural pass catcher with starting-caliber physical tools. May 2 - 4:38 PM

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If his health checks out, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler believes Arkansas TE A.J. Derby "is draftable as a developmental tight end or H-back who should continue and get better for a team that invests in him."

Derby has knee issues and is raw as a tight end, but the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has great physical tools, making him an intriguing Day 3 option in a weak TE class. "He lined up mostly inline and in the backfield and played on special teams in 2014, showing natural athletic traits that fit the position with adequate size," Brugler wrote. "His lack of length and strength stand out, the latter obviously is something he needs to improve at the next level."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 16 - 5:59 PM

Arkansas TE A.J. Derby was clocked in the low 4.7s at his pro day workout and "showed crisp routes and secure hands during his positional drills," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Derby wasn't able to participate at the Combine, so this workout was crucial for him. Derby, a former QB who transferred over from Iowa via a JUCO, is 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and has the wheels befitting of a former dual-threat signal-caller. In terms of stock, he's a more polished and less hyped version of Blake Bell. Because the tight end class is horrid this year, Derby could potentially make a late move up boards -- there's only so many to go around.
Source: CBS Sports
Mar 5 - 9:26 PM

Arkansas senior TE A.J. Derby has accepted an invitation to the East West Shrine game.

Derby is a converted quarterback from Iowa via a stint in JUCO. The senior tight end class is extremely thing, but Derby is one of the more intriguing names. He continues to show improvement despite a diminutive stat line of 21 receptions for 290 yards and three touchdowns.
Sat, Nov 22, 2014 10:43:00 AM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Arkansas senior TE A.J. Derby "has really improved over this season."

"Arkansas QB-turned-TE A.J. Derby has really improved over this season. Not as big as Blake Bell, but both project as draftable TE prospects," Brugler tweeted. On the season, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Derby has 21 receptions for 290 yards, with three touchdowns. The Razorbacks prospect was a former QB who transferred over from Iowa via a JUCO, and has impressive speed befitting a former dual-threat signal-caller.
Tue, Nov 18, 2014 02:22:00 PM

Arkansas senior TE A.J. Derby "is seeing immediate results" after moving to tight end from quarterback, observed TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.

"In many ways Derby reminds me of former Michigan quarterback turned tight end Jay Riemersma, the seventh round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1996, who went on to play 8 years in the NFL," Pauline wrote. Derby, a former QB who transferred over from Iowa via a JUCO, is 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and has the wheels befitting a former dual-threat signal-caller. "He’s averaging 15.5-yards on 16 receptions thus far in 2014 and has 3 touchdowns to his credit," Pauline wrote. "Improving almost weekly, Derby looks natural catching the pass and does not fight the ball."
Mon, Oct 27, 2014 09:28:00 PM

The acceleration shown by Arkansas senior TE A.J. Derby "on a 54-yard catch and run touchdown is sure to catch the attention of the NFL," according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang

"It was only one play but given how weak the senior crop of tight ends appear to be, the acceleration shown by Arkansas tight end AJ Derby on a 54-yard catch and run touchdown is sure to catch the attention of the NFL," Rang writes. The former quarterback and transfer from Iowa, "looks the part of an NFL tight end and showed impressive balance and speed on the play," according to Rang.
Source: CBS Sports
Tue, Oct 14, 2014 03:41:00 PM

Arkansas senior TE A.J. Derby caught four passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the school's 14-13 loss to Alabama.

Derby's top play was a 54 yard catch and run, breaking multiple tackles down the sideline for a score. The 2015 tight end class is extremely weak, so Derby has a chance to be selected as a top five prospect at the position.
Sun, Oct 12, 2014 09:38:00 AM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler considers Arkansas senior A.J. Derby, a former QB, a sleeper TE prospect.

Derby is "very raw but talented," according to Brugler. The former quarterback is also a former Iowa Hawkeye, where head coach Bret Bielema played with Derby's father. A.J. offers a 6'4/232 lbs frame.
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 11:12:00 AM

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will move forward with junior QB A.J. Derby as the starter.

Brandon Allen has been injured and unable to throw during practice. Derby started last week against Rutgers, completing 14 of 26 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown in a 28-24 loss. The junior is a former Iowa Hawkeye who walked on with the Razorbacks at the end of last season.
Thu, Sep 26, 2013 09:26:00 AM

Former Iowa QB A.J. Derby will likely take on back up duties for Arkansas in 2013.

After leaving the Iowa program, Derby walked on at Arkansas and has worked his way up to a meaningful role in 2013. Brandon Mitchell was listed as the backup to Brandon Allen, but he recently decided to leave the program and seek a transfer.
Thu, May 9, 2013 01:36:00 PM

Former Iowa QB A.J. Derby will walk on for Arkansas in 2013.

Derby attended a junior college in 2011 after being arrested on charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief and public intoxication. He will not be in line to start for the Razorbacks, a spot likely to be held by Brandon Allen.
Mon, Dec 31, 2012 09:26:00 AM