- Feb 2, 2006
- Reaction score
This talented junior looks like a lock to enter the 2006 NFL Draft. Bing is simply put the prototype possessing many of the qualities of past Trojan Safeties like Mark Carrier and Ronnie Lott, but is bigger and faster than both at just under 220 and a prep sprinter with personal bests of 10.6 in the 100M and 21.8 in the 200M. If he stays healthy and has the kind of monster year many expect he could go in the first half of round 1. He reminds me actually more of former UCLA Sateties Ken Easley and Matt Darby. He originally signed with USC in 2002, but did not qualify for admission, so he attended Long Beach (Calif.) City College in 2002 as a part-time student (he didn't play football there). He won almost every award in high school under the sun. He was a 2001 Parade All-American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American, Max Emfinger All-American, USA Today All-USA second team, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western Region, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Orange County Register Fab 15 first team, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 first team, Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, All-CIF Southern Section first team, All-CIF Division I first team, Los Angeles Times All-Southeast/South Coast first team and Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team honoree as a senior at Poly High in Long Beach (Calif.) After enrolling at USC in the spring of 2003, Bing easily won the job at strong safety as a first-year freshman in 2003. Overall in 2003 while starting all 13 games, he had 69 tackles (fourth on USC), including 2 for losses of 3 yards, plus a fumble recovery, 2 interceptions that he returned 34 yards (17.0 avg.) and 5 deflections. He made the 2003 The Sporting News, Scripps/Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-American first team, Collegefootballnews.com and Rivals.com Freshman All-American first teams and All-Pac-10 honorable mention squad, as well as being named to the 2003 The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman first team (and he was Defensive Freshman of the Year). This giant playmaker has all the physical talent you could ever want in a safety and his potential is just unbelievable. He is very young and raw and needs to develop the mental aspects of his game. If Bing continues to improve his game and decides to turn pro, he could very well be the first safety off the board in the 2006 or 2007 NFL Draft; he has first round talent and pro bowl potential.
Panthers Prospect: Darnell Bing
Bing By: Jon Scott
Date: Apr 21, 2006
USC safety Darnell Bing shared a few minutes last week with Patriots Insider Jon Scott to answer some questions about family, running track, his time at USC and preparing for the Draft.
Considered one of the best safeties available in the 2006 NFL Draft, Darnell Bing recalled his roots citing those as reasons why he is well grounded headed toward what will be the start of his professional career.
When asked to describe his background and family life growing up, Bing talked about how thankful he was for his mom and his family who always supported him and encouraged him to succeed in sports whether playing football or running track. Sports were an important part of his life from grade school through high school and on into college. It is a passion his brothers still share with him. Darnell's voice picked up with a level of appreciation simply addressing what his brothers were doing now.
"One of my brothers goes to Cal State Dominguez," said Bing with pride. " My other brother is a real estate agent, and he lives in Sacramento California."
The brothers were close growing up. "We were all that we had," said Bing of his family. The brothers still live close enough that they could get together on weekends to watch Darnell play for the Trojans. They supported his goal of trying to make the leap to the NFL. Although he doesn't see them as much, Bing appreciates the time together.
"They always come down on weekends so we always get together then," Bing remarked.
In high school Bing was a multi-sport athlete. He was part of the track team, an interest he carried from his younger days, but it was the football field where he earned his accolades. 2001 Parade All American, Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American were just a few of the many honors Bing acquired.
"Those meant a lot to me," Bing remarked. "It's always a wonderful feeling to be rewarded for some of the things you have done in the sport that you love the most."
Indeed. Splitting time at running back and defensive back, Bing loved playing on both sides of the ball. The more playing time the better was how he looked at it. His success on defense and the ability to make big plays appealed to him.
"When I first started [playing football] I was a more of a running back," said Bing. "Since high school, I played mostly defense so I pretty much got the love of defense over running back then."
Track was another part of Bing's athletic life. Although by the time he became a starter on varsity, football rapidly took over as his favorite sport. He appreciated participating in track, because he says it helped him with speed. He claimed he kept at it to stay in shape.
"When there were long plays on the other side of the field, it helped me run the ball down," Bing commented about the benefits of running track. "It came in handy."
Bing is leaving USC with another year of eligibility remaining. Although he hasn't graduated yet, he plans on returning to get his degree in Public Policy, Management and Planning at the University. "Yeah, I plan on going back to finish," Bing acknowledged, but after football.
It is football first now for the Draft hopeful.
"I set a lot of goals for myself in the beginning of the season I felt that I accomplished pretty much everything I wanted," Bing said about his decision to leave early. "Then the support from my friends and family and my coaching staff that also helped me with my main goal that was to make the jump to the NFL."
Although some thought Bing might be a bit raw to leave USC and that his prospects would be better if he remained for another season, Bing felt it was time.
"A lot of people said it would be a good time [to leave early]. I also heard from a lot of people that it would be even better if I were to come back my senior year."
The decision has been made, and it's time for his NFL career to begin. Bing is a top 10 rated safety according to most draft publications. He is projected to be a first-day, likely in the first or second round selection.
"He probably won't make it past the fifth slot in the second round," said Bing's agent Jamal Tooson.
San Francisco is one of the teams expressing interest in the former Trojan. They also hold the fifth pick of the second round. According to Tooson the 49ers met with Bing prior to his pro day on April 2, 2005. The Patriots and the Panthers were two others to meet with the talented safety.
In his senior season Bing managed 50 tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for a loss, four interceptions for 119 return yards with six passes defensed and one forced fumble. He saw time on the kick off unit managing 5 returns for 143 yards (28.6 avg).
He doesn't have good coverage skills for a safety, but they announced they're going to play him at linebacker. He's a good player who has a good opportunity to convert to LB.
First Day Haul
April 29, 2006
The Oakland Raiders sailed through the day of the 2006 NFL Draft and added three exciting, young players to the roster. After selecting Texas safety Michael Huff with the #7 overall pick, the Raiders chose Texas-El Paso LB Thomas Howard and Weber State offensive lineman Paul McQuistan in the second and third rounds respectively.
"It's been exciting for us because we're hitting on all cylinders and getting the guys we want," Raiders Head Coach Art Shell said. "I really like our Draft. I really like the guys we got."
"He is a very versatile player that can play any one of those positions in the secondary," Coach Shell said of Michael Huff. "There are a lot of things that he can do and he brings a lot to our football team."
"We are really excited about this kid, he is very fast, he has great coverage ability, he has the ability to rush the passer," Coach Shell said of Howard. "We look forward to him coming in here and being a part of what we're trying to do."
"Paul McQuistan is a tough guy, has good strength, plays with tenacity, runs well," Coach Shell said. "He has excellent size. He is one tough guy. I really like him."
"We think he has qualities that we are looking for. He is a very tenacious individual," Coach Shell continued. "All the things you look for in an offensive lineman, we feel he has all of those qualities."
RAIDERS MOVING BING TO 'BACKER
Adam Schefter reports that the Oakland Raiders will move fourth-round selection Darnell Bing from safety to linebacker.
Bing, who like most of his USC colleagues ended up sliding in the draft, is considered a little slow to be a safety, but he'll be regarded as fast for a linebacker. And he's definitely got the size to make it work.
Raiders continue to focus on defense in draft
ALAMEDA, Calif. - Darnell Bing feels comfortable at his current weight and position, even though the Oakland Raiders intend on having him change both.
Bing, a three-year starter at strong safety for Southern Cal, will play outside linebacker in the NFL after the Raiders drafted him in the fourth round on Sunday. Oakland wants Bing to pack on an additional 10 pounds to his 6-foot-2, 227-pound frame.
"I am sure if I gain a few pounds it won't hurt my speed," said Bing, who has been clocked at 4.55 in the 40-yard dash.
The Raiders spent three of their first four draft picks on defensive players in hopes of improving a unit that was 27th overall in 2005. Bing's selection came on the heels of Texas safety Michael Huff, Oakland's first-round pick, and outside linebacker Thomas Howard, a second-round pick from Texas-El Paso.
Oakland also used the second day of the draft to address problems along its offensive line, picking up Cornell's Kevin Boothe in the sixth round and Michigan State center Chris Morris in the seventh. A day earlier, the Raiders acquired guard Pete McQuistan from Weber State in the third round.
Wide receiver Kevin McMahan was the Raiders' final pick Sunday and the last pick overall in the draft, earning him the distinction of being this year's Mr. Irrelevant.
This is the second straight year the Raiders targeted defense as their most pressing need, though first-year coach Art Shell said it was more coincidence than by design.
"Going in we felt we needed some help on defense and we felt we could do that and find capable people," Shell said. "But if those guys weren't there and an offensive guy came across the board that we felt we couldn't pass on, we would have taken the offensive guy."
Bing, a first-team All-America pick as a senior, started 35 games in three seasons as the Trojans' strong safety but will be moved to linebacker with the Raiders, who were extremely thin at the position last year.
Kirk Morrison led Oakland in tackles as a rookie and veteran Danny Clark's leadership proved valuable in 2005 but the team had little depth beyond that.
"He can play in the box and he can run and he can cover," Shell said of Bing. "Those are qualities that a linebacker has to have. The key thing for us is can he add the weight and not lose the speed."
Boothe, who suffered a broken hand in 2003 while tucking in his jersey, spent the last two seasons playing tackle at Cornell but will be moved to guard in Oakland. Morris may get an initial look at long-snapper but could push incumbent starter Jake Grove for the center job.
Grove opened 2005 as Oakland's starting center but was bothered by a shoulder injury that required surgery early in the season. He split time between center and left guard, though Shell said the team will keep Grove at center in 2006.
Raiders' owner Al Davis was critical of Oakland's offensive line during the offseason and understandably so. Despite the additions of wide receiver Randy Moss and running back LaMont Jordan a year ago, the Raiders finished just 4-12, were ranked only 21st in total offense, 23rd in scoring and gave up 45 sacks.
"First of all, we need to get the guys up front stronger and better," said Shell, a Hall of Fame tackle during his 15-year NFL career. "If we do that, then we'll be OK."
McMahan was selected by Oakland with the 255th overall pick. It is the third time in four years the Raiders have had the final pick in the draft.
Another day brings another safety
By Steve Corkran
ALAMEDA - Some place, somewhere, Raiders veteran strong safety Derrick Gibson must be saying, "Hey, remember me?"
Apparently not. That, or the Raiders perhaps are all too mindful of having spent a first-round draft pick on Gibson in 2001 and have grown tired of waiting for a commensurate return on their sizable investment.
That much became apparent in the NFL draft this weekend as the Raiders drafted a high-profile safety for the second straight day Sunday as the marquee selection of their four picks in rounds four through seven.
The addition of Southern Cal strong safety Darnell Bing makes it plenty clear for Gibson and other safety candidates that the status quo isn't good enough for Raiders coach Art Shell.
Bing joins first-round selection Michael Huff -- they played against each other in the national championship game in January -- as versatile players who entered the draft as the top-rated safeties, according to one publication, and found their way onto a team in need of their services.
"Going into the draft, we felt we needed help on defense," Shell said. "We answered part of that with Michael Huff. ... We feel pretty good where we are right now."
The arrival of two top-flight safeties doesn't necessarily portend the end of Gibson's Raiders career. Huff almost assuredly will win a starting spot, but it might be as a safety masquerading as a rover in much the same manner that Charles Woodson was used last season.
In that scenario, the Raiders likely would use two linebackers and five defensive backs, with Gibson and Stuart Schweigert at the safety spots.
Bing has the build and mentality of a prototypical strong safety, yet the Raiders envision him converting to linebacker, Shell said Sunday.
"The key for us is can he add the weight and not lose the speed," Shell said of a player who will be asked to add at least 10 pounds to his 225-pound build.
That gives the Raiders three potential candidates to fill the outside linebacker spot opposite Kirk Morrison: Bing, second-round draftee Thomas Howard and fourth-year player Sam Williams.
A knee injury to Williams in training camp last season prompted the Raiders to try converted defensive linemen Tyler Brayton and Grant Irons at the outside linebacker spots.
That experiment lasted all of one quarter in Oakland's regular-season opener against the New England Patriots. It also necessitated defensive coordinator Rob Ryan using an extra defensive back in place of a linebacker much of the time.
The Raiders cut Gibson soon after the 2005 season, then re-signed him to a more favorable contract for 2006. He missed most of last season after sustaining a dislocated left wrist.
Bing doesn't lack confidence or shy away from a challenge. He asked for and received permission from Southern Cal athletic director Mike Garrett to wear Garrett's retired No. 20 jersey.
"I've been working out with guys in the NFL since I was in high school," Bing said in a conference call. "I would say that my work ethic is pretty high. And in practice, I'm making sure I got everything down to a T, so therefore I can take it to the game and it'll come that much easier."
Also, he was part of the celebrated Long Beach Poly High School football team that put its reputation on the line against De La Salle in the latter half of his high school career. Bing and Poly lost to De La Salle in the teams' first meeting in 2000, thanks to four touchdowns by De La Salle running back Maurice Drew.
In the 2001 meeting, Bing taped to the back of his uniform, on his shoulder pads, the words "Drew Who?" The words were sandwiched around a picture of Drew.
Drew once again got the better of Bing and Poly in a lopsided victory at Cal. That didn't stop Southern Cal from pouncing on Bing as soon as he graduated.
The Raiders used their sixth- and the first of their two seventh-round picks on offensive linemen Kevin Boothe and Chris Morris, respectively.
Neither is viewed as a cinch to make the 53-man, opening-day roster, though both give the Raiders insurance in case any of their many veterans get injured during training camp or don't meet Shell's expectations.
In all, the Raiders spent the entire draft addressing problem areas from last season. Shell said his first draft with the Raiders since 1994 "went well for the Raiders. I would say that we got the majority of the players that we wanted."