Dockett (No. 90) against the New York Jets in 2012
No. 90 Arizona Cardinals
|Date of birth:May 27, 1981|
|Place of birth: Burtonsville, Maryland|
|High school: Paint Branch (MD)|
|College: Florida State|
|NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 3 / Pick: 64|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Arizona Cardinals|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Darnell Maurice Dockett (born May 27, 1981) is an American football defensive end who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Docket played college football for Florida State University (FSU), and the Arizona Cardinals picked him in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played defensive tackle for the first five seasons of his career until the Cardinals switched to a 3–4 defense, leading him to move to defensive end.
High school career
Dockett started football relatively late. In his first youth league game, he ran the wrong way with a fumble for a safety against his team. He attended Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland, where he set a school record with 47 sacks in his career. As a senior, tallied 171 tackles (109 solo), 15 sacks, two caused fumbles, three recovered and three blocked punts, earning Maryland Player of the Year honors as well as All-American selections by USA Today and Parade.
A highly regarded prospect, Dockett was ranked the No. 17 prospect in the country by The Sporting News. Recruited by numerous schools, Dockett selected Florida State over Ohio State and North Carolina.
After an early season injury, Dockett redshirted his first year at Florida State, as the Seminoles went wire-to-wire as national champions. In 2000, they had to replace interior defensive linemen Corey Simon and Jerry Johnson in the starting line-up. Dockett successfully secured a spot, starting the last 10 games of the year at defensive tackle. He recorded 66 total tackles (including 32 unassisted), which was most of any freshmen on the team, and tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (19). Dockett also added a team-high 18 quarterback hurries, and seven sacks (third on the team). His performance earned him freshman All-America honors, and he was named the freshman defensive player of the year by Football News.
As a sophomore, Dockett emerged as one of the best defensive lineman in college football, starting all 12 games for the Seminoles, including the 2002 Gator Bowl. While frequently drawing double-teams, he led all defensive linemen with 68 total tackles and set a new Florida State single season record with 22 tackles for loss. In the final game of the regular season against Georgia Tech, he established a new school record with five tackles for loss in a single game. Dockett also led the team with 19 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. He was a first team All-ACC selection.
Having become a fixture at defensive tackle, Dockett started all 13 games of his junior season, and made at least four tackles in 12 of those games. Constant double-teams resulted in fewer sacks and tackles for loss on the season, still he managed to break Ron Simmons' 22-year old school record of 44 career tackles for loss against Clemson. He was also second on the team with 15 quarterback hurries. He was suspended from the team for the 2003 Sugar Bowl, after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge.
Docket finished his college career as a four-year starter. He recorded 10.5 sacks, and 247 tackles (123 solo tackles, 124 assisted tackles), and set a school record with 65 tackles for loss.
2004 NFL Draft
Although projected a late first-round selection, Dockett was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the 3rd round, because his previous arrests and run-ins with coaching staffs scared off a lot of teams.
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 3⅓ in||297 lb||5.04 s||1.75 s||2.91 s||31 in||8 ft 9 in||26 reps|
|All values from NFL Combine|
Dockett had a reasonably quiet first few seasons with six sacks in his first three seasons. The 2007 season was his breakout season recording nine sacks in sixteen starts. Then in the 2008/9 season he recorded four sacks in sixteen starts while the Cardinals won the NFC west with a 9-7 record. They then had a surprising playoff run getting to Super Bowl XLIII (which they lost 27-23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers) with Dockett recording three sacks in the game tying Reggie White's record.
On September 1, 2010, the Cardinals signed Dockett to a 4-year, $48 million contract extension, with $30 million guaranteed. This will keep him with the franchise through the 2015 season. During the press conference, Dockett stated that he wants to "retire an Arizona Cardinal".
Controversy ensued after the 2010 NFC Championship Game, where Dockett was one of the critics of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, tweeting on Twitter: "If I'm on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!"
His mother was murdered in her home when Dockett was thirteen; no one was ever arrested for the crime. After his father died of cancer four months later, Dockett was raised by his uncle, Kevin Dockett.
- Lapointe, Joe (January 31, 2009). "One Way or Another, Arizona’s Darnell Dockett Will Get His Ink". The New York Times.
- "In 1999, Bobby Bowden's FSU Seminoles were college football's reigning dynasty". ESPN The Magazine. March 16, 2013.
- "Seminoles' Dockett suspended for bowl". The Times-Union. December 23, 2002.
- "Dockett Says He Forgives His Mother's Murderer". Yahoo Sports. January 28, 2009.
- "SI.com". CNN.
- Somers, Kent (August 6, 2009). "Defensive unit seeks consistency". The Arizona Republic.
- "Bears Fire Back At Jay Cutler's Critics". Huffington Post. January 25, 2011.