ANN ARBOR – From the Senior Bowl to the NFL combine to pro day, Amara Darboh spent the pre-draft months trying to get one team to fall in love with him.
It turned out to be the Seattle Seahawks, who picked the former Michigan wide receiver in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday night. Their heavy interest in Darboh, however, was a bit of a secret.
“He was one of those guys that we were laying in the weeds on him a little bit,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said late Friday night. “They give you so much information on him and he checks so many cheap No. 83 jersey boxes that he was one of those guys that you didn’t really have to spend a ton of extra time on.”
Darboh came of the board to the Seahawks with the No. 42 pick in the third round (No. 106 overall), which was a compensatory cheap Amara Darboh jersey selection. He had contact with Seattle leading up to the draft but said it was hard trying to evaluate the interest teams had in him because he treated every interaction as a job interview. Now, Darboh knows his new employer.
“Man, it was awesome,” he said of getting Seattle Seahawks jerseys cheap the draft call. “Especially from a great organization that competes and wins. They have great players and everything.”
Darboh was born in Sierra Leone and orphaned by civil war before moving to the United States at age 7 and settling in Iowa. Soccer was his first sport and he didn’t even start playing football until his freshman year of high school.
“He’s young in football and he looks like a professional wide receiver,” Schneider said. “That’s probably the most amazing thing about cheap jerseys his story. We see him as a blue-grit kid that’s overcome a ton in his life. … He’s a real good route runner, he’s got really good ball skills, he’ll block, he’ll play on (special) teams. He’s one of those kids that just checks off all the boxes and there’s still a lot out there in front of him.”
Darboh had a breakout 2015 season for Michigan and put up slightly better numbers as a fifth-year senior last fall with 57 receptions for 862 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished his Michigan career with wholesale jerseys at least one reception in 33 straight games – the fourth-longest streak in program history – and was a second team All-Big Ten selection.
Leading up to the draft, there were some concerns about Darboh’s speed, which he felt were answered by running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the combine in March. Darboh also touted his route-running ability after spending the last two seasons playing for Jim Harbaugh, who would be honest in evaluating strengths and weaknesses.
“It prepared me a lot,” said Darboh, whose former Michigan teammate, safety Delano Hill, was also picked by the Seahawks in the third round on Friday. “Not only the system, the coaches he had around me, his ways of running the meetings and the whole program when he came in, he kind of had the NFL system in mind. So when he came in, just the way he treated us, he treated us like pros, and I think that’s going to prepare me for the next level.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and Harbaugh were coaching rivals at both the college and NFL level. However, Carroll raved about Harbaugh’s ability to get the most out of players and turn around the Michigan program in discount jersey store his first two seasons. He also reaped praise on Darboh for what he had to overcome to get to this point.
“The guy has a great story – he went through a lot, Carroll said. “He just came through as such an amazing kid. That tells you a lot about a guy.”
Darboh’s memories of Sierra Leone are somewhat limited. He recalls moving a lot, playing soccer with his brothers and the food. Darboh became a United States citizen in 2015, which he considered a very important step in his life. He’s now ready to make the next one as a NFL player.
“I feel very blessed,” Darboh said. “I feel like although I went through some difficult times in my life, I think God has also blessed me and I’ve had some great people help me throughout my life. I think it’s all part of God’s plan and I’m going to keep following the path that He set out for me.”