2017 NFL Draft

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Javier Arenas

Height: 5-09 | Weight: 197 | College: Alabama
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With an SEC-record seven punt returns for touchdowns, Arenas might be known more for his agility, vision and acceleration as a return specialist, but these skills proved to be just as effective over his final two seasons as a starting cornerback -- which is why he's flying up draft boards.

Highly touted as a prep athlete due to his return skills, Arenas made an immediate impact for the Tide as a freshman. He returned two punts for scores -- including an 86-yarder against Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl that broke school and bowl records, but did not register a tackle.

He saw the field as a valuable backup in the secondary as a sophomore, registering 20 stops, including two tackles for loss. Again, however, his return skills earned him the most attention, as Arenas returned a punt 61 yards for score against LSU and averaged 24.3 yards per kickoff and 15.4 yards per punt -- both good enough for second all-time in Crimson Tide history.

Arenas was even better as a junior, returning three punts (87, 80 and 73 yards) for scores and emerging as an all-conference selection at cornerback with 63 tackles, eight passes broken up and an interception, which he naturally returned for a touchdown.

Arenas returned his record-breaking seventh punt for a score against Chattanooga as a senior, but otherwise saw his average drop slightly as teams simply refused to kick to him. If his production as a returner was disappointing in 2009, Arenas' play at cornerback and as an all-around defender certainly was not. Despite missing the South Carolina game due to bruised ribs, Arenas finished with a staggering 71 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and five interceptions. He was at his best in the big games, essentially ending the contest against Florida in the SEC Championship Game with an end zone interception of Tim Tebow and securing two interceptions in the national title game. Arenas has a short, stocky build well-suited to playing inside in nickel coverage. He boasts rare foot quickness, balance and instincts and has proven a reliable open-field tackler and productive blitzer. Despite his staggering production, Arenas lack of height and below-average straight-line speed will be a problem for teams using man coverage -- though zone teams may still value him as a top 120 prospect.


Read & React: Good anticipatory skills. Reads the action and breaks on the ball quickly. Can be beaten with good play-action fakes. Lacks the deep speed to recover and has to be protected over the top by a safety.

Man Coverage: Flashes an aggressive pop at the line of scrimmage when in man coverage. Good lateral agility to turn and run with receivers. More quick than fast, and can be beaten over the top if left alone in man coverage.

Zone Coverage: Alert and active defender when in zone. Reads the action quickly and gets a good break on the ball, especially on short and intermediate routes. Disciplined defender and reliable tackler.

Closing/Recovery: Lacks the straight-line speed needed to recover if beaten initially. Quick feet and possesses a very good first step to accelerate out of his breaks to close. Has good leaping ability, but lacks the height teams prefer and can be beaten by bigger, taller receivers. Natural hands and an obvious threat with the ball in his hands.

Run Support: Aggressive fighting through blocks to come up in run support. Highly active defender and an effective open-field tackler.

Tackling: Secure open-field tackler who breaks down in space against shifty athletes. Not a big hitter, but wraps his arms around his target with good drive for a player his size. Struggles some against bigger receivers, but has good strength to drag them down quickly.

Intangibles: Knack for returning punts/kicks didn't just develop in college -- he set the record for Robinson High School in Tampa with seven returns for touchdowns as a senior. Good athletic bloodlines. Cousin, Gilbert Arenas, plays in the NBA for the Washington Wizards.

2009 Season

One of the most dangerous return men in the country and a shutdown cornerback, Javier Arenas has started eight games and ranks third on the team in tackles with 52 … a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive back … specializes in the corner blitz, which has resulted in four sacks (-43) while making a team-best 10.5 tackles for loss (-74 yards), which ranks second in the SEC … ranks ninth in the SEC in sacks (4) … selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following the LSU game … ranks 15th nationally and third in the SEC in punt returns at 14.39 yards per return … is just 106 yards from breaking the SEC career record (1,695 by Vanderbilt's Lee Nalley, 1947-49) for punt return yardage and just 172 yards from breaking Texas Tech Wes Welker's (2000-03) NCAA punt return yardage record of 1,761 … has returned 13 kickoffs for a 27.4 yard average that ranks 24th nationally and third in the SEC … ranked 15th in the SEC with 85.88 all-purpose yards per game … missed the South Carolina game with bruised ribs. Virginia Tech: Recorded five total tackles with three solo stops also registered his first sack of the season … returned three punts for 35 yards and three kickoffs for 55 yards. FIU: Was selected as the UA coaching staff's special teams player of the week … returned one punt for 25 yards and had four kickoff returns for 101 yards, which included a season-long 46-yard return … had four solo tackles and five stops in the Tide's 40-14 win over the Panthers.

North Texas: Was nearly unstoppable in the return game, averaging 22.5 yards on four punts and returning one kickoff for 61 yards … all four of his punt returns, including his long of 36 yards, set up touchdowns for the Tide, while his kickoff return setup a field goal … made three total tackles on defense with two solo stops … also tied for the team high with two pass breakups as Alabama held UNT to just 126 yards passing and 187 total yards. Arkansas: Was everywhere for the Tide's defense, recording five tackles - four solos - three tackles for loss (-25) and a career-best two sacks (-21) … also returned four punts for 49 yards … had two punt returns called back for illegal blocks to the back, including one that he had returned inside the 5-yard line. Kentucky: Arenas made a season-high eight tackles with five solo stops against the Wildcats, helping the Tide limit Kentucky to just 20 points in a commanding 38-20 win in Lexington … was named the special teams player of the week by the Alabama coaching staff.

Mississippi: Did a little bit of everything against the No. 22 Rebels with five tackles - four solos - his first interception of the season, two kickoff returns for 40 yards and two punt returns … wrestled away his first pick of the season with an outstanding play that setup a Tide field goal in the first half … helped limit UM to 197 total yards while forcing QB Jevan Snead into 11 for 34 passing (32.3 percent) and just 140 yards. South Carolina: Missed a start for the first time in two years due to bruised ribs suffered in practice. Tennessee: Produced one of the most impressive games for a defensive back in college football this season … recorded a career-best 14 tackles with a sack and a career-high 4.5 tackles for loss … made a tackle on the Tide's first blocked field goal in the fourth quarter … dropped the UT quarterback for a loss of 12 yards … returned two punts for 33 yards with a long of 24 yards … notched his first quarterback hurry of the season. LSU: Was tabbed the SEC Defensive Player of the Week following the Crimson Tide's 24-15 win over the No. 9 Tigers … made seven tackles, including four solo stops … recorded two more tackles for loss (-eight yards) … also had a hurry on LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson … Excellent decision making in the return game helped UA in field position … returned three kickoffs for 78 yards with a long of 40 yards.

2008 Season

Arenas did a little bit of everything for the Crimson Tide in 2008 from starting at cornerback to returning kickoffs to returning punts … second-team All-American punt returner by Phil Steele … second-team All-SEC honoree at both cornerback and return specialist (SEC Coaches) by the Associated Press, SEC coaches, The Sporting News and Phil Steele … Arenas registered 63 tackles on the season at corner to rank fifth on the team … has 3.5 TFL (-24) and two sacks (-21) while averaging 15.9 yards on each punt return and 23.6 yards per kickoff return … finished sixth nationally in average yards per punt return and second in the SEC … his 650 punt return yards led the nation and set an Alabama single-season record … his 41 punt returns were also the most nationally, while ranking third in the school annals … had 87-, 80-yard and 73-yard punt returns for a touchdowns in 2008, which gave him the school record of six in his UA career.

Is Alabama's career (1,259), single-season (650, 2008) and game (153 vs. Mississippi State, 2008) leader in punt return yards … had a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown at Arkansas … had eight total passes defended and seven pass breakups … two-time SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and a four-time (two defense/two special teams) honoree by the Crimson Tide coaching staff … captured the President's Award as a player who has shown perseverance in making outstanding contributions to the team's success … also earned the team's Special Teams Player of the Year Award.

2007 Season

Starting return man and a back-up defensive back who saw action in 12 games, missing the Auburn game with an ankle injury … had 27 kickoff returns for 657 yards this season to rank second in the Tide single-season return charts in both categories … returned 21 punts for 323 yards and a touchdown … averaged 15.4 yards per punt return, also the second-best single-season mark in UA history … ranked second in the SEC and 12th nationally in average punt return yardage (15.4) … also had 20 tackles, including two for loss, and a pass breakup on defense on the season … had his best game of the season against No. 3 LSU, when he racked up 237 all-purpose yards, a career high … had eight kickoff returns, a new school record, for 168 yards against the Tigers … also had three punt returns for 69 yards, including a memorable 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Tide a seven-point lead … played extensively in the secondary in the LSU game as well, recording four tackles, including one for loss, and a pass breakup … had a season-high 79 punt-return yards on three attempts at Vanderbilt, including his season-long 69-yard effort in the first quarter that set up the team's first score … also had three kickoff returns for 59 yards and had a tackle against the Commodores … had six punt returns for 79 yards against Arkansas, including a 58-yarder to the Razorback 2-yard line that set up a touchdown in the third quarter … set up another key touchdown in the win at Ole Miss with a 54-yard return that led to the game-tying score … finished with 164 all-purpose yards against the Rebels … first kickoff return of the season was a 30-yarder, setting up Terry Grant's 47-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, the team's first score of the season … recorded a 62-yard kickoff return in the 41-17 win over Tennessee and had two tackles in the game … had a 34-yard kickoff return at Mississippi State … returned three kickoffs for 76 yards, including a long of 31 against Colorado in the PetroSun Independence Bowl victory … named SEC Special Teams Co-Player of the Week for his efforts against Ole Miss and LSU and named Alabama Special Teams Co-Player of the Week against Western Carolina, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU.

2006 Season

Arenas was the top kick and punt returner for the Crimson Tide. He had 18 kick returns for 344 yards, an average of 19.1 yards per return with a long of 31 yards.He also returned 31 punts for 286 yards, a 9.2 average per return, and two touchdowns. In the PetroSun Independence Bowl against Oklahoma State, he returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown to break the record for the longest return in Alabama bowl history and Independence Bowl history. He also returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown on his birthday against Florida International.He went on to finish with five returns for 81 yards against the Golden Panthers. In the season opener against Hawai'i, he returned four kickoffs for 87 yards.He tallied 68 all-purpose yards at LSU with three punt returns for 12 yards and three kickoff returns for 56 yards. He had one kick return for 27 yards and three punt returns for 16 yards against Louisiana Monroe. He had a career long punt return of 24 yards at Arkansas. He had 59 all-purpose yards against Ole Miss with three punt returns for 15 yards and two kick returns for 44 yards.He played a total of 107 snaps on the season with a seasonhigh 12 plays against Oklahoma State. After the Florida International game,Arenas was tabbed the Alabama Special Teams Player of the Week.

Injury Report

2009: Missed the South Carolina game with bruised ribs.

High School

Set the record for most punt (4) and kick returns (3) for a touchdown in a single season his senior year. He scored 16 touchdowns as a defensive back at Robinson High School. First team All-Suncoast player. Named USA Navy Player of the Week and Bright House Player of the Week in 2005. He was also a track star running the 200 meters in 22.9 seconds and the 400 meters in 54 seconds.


Son of Faconda Arenas. Has four brothers, Jeno,Armando,Michael and Marco and one sister, Jetta. His cousin Gilbert Arenas, plays in the NBA with the Washington Wizards.


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