2017 NFL Draft

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Jabari Arthur

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 228 | College: Akron
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The former prep school quarterback made remarkable strides during his senior year, developing into one of the more physical big-play receivers in college football in 2007. He set a school single-season record with 86 receptions, but it is what he did on those 86 grabs that truly stand out. He had 15 catches for 20 yards or longer, as 54 were good for first downs, converting 24 third-down passes and one other on fourth down.

The Canadian native returned for his fifth year, despite being a first-round pick in the 2007 Canadian Football League draft, going as the sixth overall pick to the Calgary Stampeders. He would close out his career as the school's all-time leading receiver with 184 catches for 2,653 yards, as his 17 touchdown catches rank third in Akron annals. His 86 grabs in 2007 set a Zips single-season record, while his 1,171 yards gained and 10 touchdowns both rank second on the school annual record books.

Arthur was rated the best high school prospect in Canada during his senior year at Vanier Prep. He was named the League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior, as he also served as captain of Team Canada as a junior. He was the school's Athlete of the Year as a freshman, leading the squad to a 42-4 record during his career, winning a regional championship in 1999. He also lettered in track.

Arthur enrolled at Akron in 2003, playing quarterback on the scout team. He lost a heated battle with Pittsburgh transfer Luke Getsy for the starting quarterback position in 2004 and made the move to wide receiver. He played in nine games, starting two contests, but also missed two midseason contests due to a left shoulder separation. He finished his first year at split end with 23 catches for 270 yards (11.7 avg), as he also completed 3-of-6 passes for 12 yards and rushed seven times for 17 yards in brief action under center.

In 2005, Arthur appeared in 12 games, earning his only start vs. Northern Illinois, sitting out vs. Ball State due to a concussion suffered vs. Bowling Green. He snared 30 passes for 482 yards (16.1 avg) and found the end zone three times. He attempted one pass and lost 15 yards on one rushing attempt.

As a junior, Arthur started nine of 12 games at split end. He suffered a left foot fracture vs. Buffalo, but still played in the team's final two contests before undergoing surgery. He led the Zips with 45 receptions for 730 yards (16.2 avg) and four touchdowns. He also posted three tackles (2 solos). The receiver could have left school and signed with Calgary in the CFL, but he decided to return for his final campaign.

That decision proved to be the right move, as the All-Mid American Conference first-team choice ranked 11th in the nation with a school single-season record 86 receptions and ranked 12th in the NCAA with 1,171 yards, the second-best season total in school history (13.6 avg), as his 10 touchdown grabs also rank second on Akron's annual record chart. He ran four times for 3 yards, returned three kickoffs for 15 yards and posted two tackles.

Arthur started 24 of 45 contests at Akron. He is the school's all-time leader with 184 catches for 2,653 yards (14.4 avg) and ranks third with 17 touchdown grabs. He completed 3-of-7 passes for 12 yards, gained five yards on 12 carries and 15 yards on three kickoff returns. He also registered five tackles (three solos).


Positives: Has good upper body muscle development and mass, with room to add more bulk, especially in the trapezoid and neck area, for a possible move to H-Back at the next level … Has a solid lower body frame with thick thighs and calves, large hands and good overall strength … More of a possession-type receiver, but knows how to use his body well to shield the ball from defenders … Physical and combative going for the ball in a crowd, using his height and elevation to easily high point the ball … Has keen field vision and alertness to the sticks, converting 24 third-down plays and one more on fourth down into first down grabs as a senior … Greatly improved his arm extension as a senior, no longer using his body as a crutch (used to body catch or trap the ball) … Lacks great speed, but has good athletic ability, as he is more of a "quicker-than-fast" receiver who shows good foot quickness and body control for his rare size and might be a better fit bulking up and using as a slot receiver or motion tight end … His experience as a quarterback greatly helped him in developing good awareness during routes, as he has a good understanding how patterns develop, showing good field position to settle under the zone's soft areas … Has outstanding football character and was described by the coaches as one of the best workers on the team … Self-starter who can take all types of coaching and possesses good practice habits … Dependable, vocal leader and team captain … Has good knowledge of the markers and operates well along the boundary, dotting his feet and maintaining balance while showing good adjustment skills to secure the ball in bounds … A good short-area receiver who uses his rare size to his advantage, as he has the strength to overpower the smaller defenders in a crowd … Plays with confidence underneath, showing the ability to shield and post up in the red zone … Has a bit of a drop step in his release, but can avoid or power through the press quickly … Does not generate instant acceleration, but is a good long strider who can cover ground going deep (best on underneath and crossing routes than he is attacking the seam, though) … Looks a bit deliberate in his movements because of his size, but has the athletic feet and body control to get under the ball without having to break stride … Has good awareness for keeping his feet in the back of the end zone, excelling on fades and post patterns … Drives hard away from the defender and has enough agility and power to separate moving laterally (vertically is still a work in progress) … Has shown improved concentration looking the ball in … Has enough flexibility to bend and reach for the ball, but because of his size, he has to go to his knees to secure the shoestring passes … Good leaper with above average height and leaping ability, as his big hands give him an advantage to secure the jump balls … Has big, soft hands and extends them properly to catch away from his frame … Not a sudden eluder, but runs hard for a player his size and his strength makes it difficult for cornerbacks to bring him down in isolated coverage … Has the size and tools to be a dominant blocker, but needs to do it with better temperament and consistency.

Negatives: Shows some tightness and is not real explosive or sudden … His tall frame prevents him from laying out for some passes that he should … His blocking effort is inconsistent, but he has the hand punch to shock and jolt … Still a bit of a raw route runner, as he flashes ability, but plays at different speeds and has only adequate initial quickness … Lacks suddenness off the line and in routes and is more of a speed-builder who lacks good quickness into and out of cuts … Shows only adequate release from the line, but has the hand power to defeat the press (improved during 2007, but had problems getting a release in the past, as he did not always protect his body, letting defenders get a piece of his jersey too often) … Needs time to build speed off the line and releases too erect, needing to do a better job of sinking his pads … .Doesn't elude defenders at the line, but instead uses his hands and size to beat press coverage … Runs deep routes only adequately, as he tends to drift and take soft angle cuts (more precise on short routes) … Lacks good speed in routes and is not real crisp into and out of his breaks, as he needs to drop his weight better and cut down his steps at the route break point … Has only adequate ability to separate from defenders in the open (better eluding laterally than vertical) … Has the ability to extend and pluck the ball, but until his senior year he often used his body to make the catch … At times, he'll use his body well and grab balls in traffic, but will also have drops and won't out-muscle smaller defenders … Deep balls need to be accurate so he can cradle them … Needs to stick his foot in the ground and comeback to the ball quicker on deeper routes … Lacks suddenness to adjust to balls thrown behind him … Can grab balls above his head, but struggles with opposite-shoulder balls … At times, he can be tough to bring down on shorter routes, but effort is inconsistent … Inconsistent blocker who can use his size well to block and sustain, but his effort is up and down.

Compares To: BRANDON MARSHALL-Denver … Arthur is not going to win many foot races, but he is starting to become a savvy route runner with good lateral separation skills. He is not going to be a vertical threat, but if used as a motion tight end/H-Back/slot receiver type, he will be a nice target to move the chains in a crowd. He is developing better hand technique, but still needs route refinement. With his size and potential shown as a senior, he could be just as effective as Marshall, but will need a year or two to work on his overall route mechanics.

Career Notes

Arthur holds the school career records with 184 receptions for 2,653 yards, topping the old marks of 149 catches by Matt Cherry (2000-03) and 2,577 yards by Lavel Bailey (1997-2000) … His 17 touchdown catches rank third in school history behind Dan Ruff (27, 1967-70) and Bailey (21) … His 86 receptions in 2007 topped the previous Akron single-season record of 75 by Domenik Hixon in 2005 … His 1,171 yards receiving in 2007 are topped only by Hixon's 2005 total of 1,210 yards on the school's single-season record chart … His 10 touchdown catches in 2007 rank second on the Zips single-season record list, topped by Ruff (11 in 1968) … His 15 catches vs. Western Michigan in 2007 topped the old school single-game record of 13 grabs, first set by Jim Lupori (vs. Muskingum, 1960), and matched by Willie Davis (vs. Kent State, 1984) and Hixon (vs. Marshall, 2004) … Only Kenny Christian of Eastern Michigan (20 vs. Temple, 2000), Jamie Hence of Western Michigan (16 vs. Ohio University, 1987) and Greg Jennings of Western Michigan (16 vs. Virginia, 2005) had more catches in a game in Mid-American Conference annals … His 225 yards receiving vs. Western Michigan in 2007 broke the previous school single-game record of 201 yards by Willie Davis vs. Kent State in 1984.

2007 Season

All-American honorable mention and Super Sleeper Team choice by The NFL Draft Report … All-Mid American Conference first-team pick … Started all twelve games at split end, ranking 11th in the nation while leading the team with a school single-season record 86 receptions, as he also placed 12th nationally with a team-high 1,171 yards (13.6 avg), the second-highest season total in school annals … His ten touchdown grabs also rank second on the Akron single-season record list … 54 of his receptions were good for first downs, as he converted 24 third-down grabs and one more on fourth down … Had fifteen catches for 20 yards or longer … Carried four times for 3 yards (0.8 avg), but two of his attempts converted third-down plays … Gained 15 yards on three kickoff returns and recorded two tackles … Had five contests with at least 100 yards receiving.

2007 Game Analysis

Army … Opened the season with eleven receptions for 125 yards and capped an 80-yard, 9-play series with a 19-yard touchdown grab … Five of his catches were good for first downs.

Ohio State … Managed just 32 yards on four catches, but two converted third down plays.

Indiana … Hauled in seven passes for 118 yards, scoring on a 26-yarder that ended a 7-play, 80-yard drive … Two of his six first downs came on third-down plays.

Kent State … Made four catches for 63 yards and a 26-yard score that concluded a 58-yard, 9-play series … Had one third-down conversion and another on fourth down.

Connecticut … Gained 81 yards, as four of his five first downs came on third-down plays, finishing with eight receptions, including a 6-yard score on a third-&-goal toss from QB Chris Jacquemain.

Western Michigan … Earned MAC Player of the Week honors, as he set two school game-records with fifteen receptions for 223 yards and three touchdowns … Seven of his ten first downs came on third-down plays … Capped a 6-play, 50-yard series with a third-&-2 7-yard score … His 35-yard touchdown came on a third-&-9 throw, adding a 51-yard touchdown later in the second half.

Temple … Caught a touchdown (49 yards) for the fifth-straight game, as Arthur grabbed six passes for 84 yards.

Buffalo … Held to 39 yards on three catches, but two were good for first downs, as he also picked up 6 yards on a third-&-2 reverse.

Bowling Green … Caught six passes for 93 yards and a 42-yard touchdown, as he also picked up 3 yards on a third-&-1 reverse.

Ohio University … Totaled 129 yards as six of his eight receptions were good for first downs, including a 32-yard touchdown.

Miami (Oh.) … Followed with six catches for 73 yards, as he converted two third-down grabs and had a total of five first-down receptions.

Central Michigan … Closed out his career with eight receptions, as three of his five first downs came on third-down plays, finishing with 111 yards … His third-&-11 grab for 37 yards in the fourth quarter set up QB Chris Jacquemain's 7-yard touchdown toss to Mercer Poindexter.

2006 Season

Started nine of twelve games at split end … Suffered a left foot bone fracture vs. Buffalo, but played in the team's final two games before undergoing surgery … Led the squad with 45 receptions for 730 yards (16.2 avg) and four touchdowns … Also recorded three tackles (2 solos).

2006 Game Analysis

Opened the season with four catches for 57 yards vs. Penn State … Had eight receptions for 137 yards and a 16-yard touchdown late in the third quarter vs. Central Michigan … Was able to snatch five passes for 64 yards, including a third quarter 36-yard touchdown vs. Kent State … Added a 33-yard scoring grab vs. Cincinnati and gained 76 yards on three catches vs. Toledo … Caught four passes for 101 yards vs. Bowling Green … Totaled 95 yards on seven receptions, including a 19-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter vs. Ohio University … Closed out the season with three catches for 46 yards vs. Western Michigan.

2005 Season

Tabbed the Most Improved Player on the offense (along with Andy Wills) … Competed for the starting quarterback job in the spring, but moved to receiver full-time in the fall … Saw action in twelve games, starting vs. Northern Illinois at split end … Sat out the Ball State clash after he suffered a concussion vs. Bowling Green … Finished fourth on the team with

30 receptions for 482 yards (16.1 avg) and three touchdowns … Rushed once for a 15-yard loss and attempted one pass.

2005 Game Analysis

Caught three passes for 50 yards in the season opener at Purdue … Made four catches for 45 yards at Miami, including his first career touchdown reception … Had four more receptions the following week vs. Army … Caught just two passes vs. Ohio, but finished with a then career-high 71 yards … Had eight receptions, including two touchdowns, for a Motor City Bowl-record 180 receiving yards vs. Memphis, as he made a leaping 46-yard touchdown catch from Luke Getsy in the third quarter vs. the Tigers and snapped Randy Moss' Motor City Bowl record of 173 receiving yards (on six catches) set in the Marshall-Mississippi contest in 1997. The 180 yards ranks tied for sixth on the UA single-game list.

2004 Season

Played a dual role for Akron, serving as the backup quarterback and one of the primary receivers … Appeared in nine games, starting at slot receiver vs. Penn State and Kent State … Ranked fourth on the team with 23 receptions for 270 yards (11.7 avg), adding 17 yards on seven carries (2.4 avg) … Completed 3-of-6 pases for 12 yards.

2004 Game Analysis

Saw his first career action under center at Penn State, completing 1-of-2 attempts for six yards … Was also 2-of-4 for six yards at Virginia … Caught eight passes for 61 yards in the opener at Penn State … Finished with five grabs for 60 yards vs. Middle Tennessee State, as four of those receptions went for first downs … Tied for the team lead with three receptions for 20 yards at Virginia … Hauled in a 51-yard reception vs. Buffalo but it was a costly one as he injured his shoulder on the play and missed the next two contests (Central Florida and Ball State) … Did not catch another pass until the season finale vs. Miami with one reception for 18 yards.

2003 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman, competing on the scout team as a quarterback.

Injury Report

2004: Suffered a left shoulder separation vs. Buffalo (10/09), missing the Central Florida (10/16) and Ball State (10/23) games.

2005: Suffered a concussion vs. Bowling Green (10/29), sitting out the Ball State (11/05) clash.

2006: Suffered a left foot fracture (Jones fracture) vs. Buffalo (11/09), but played in the team's final two games before undergoing surgery after the season.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash … 1.61 10-yard dash … 2.66 20-yard dash … 35-inch vertical jump … 10'5" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times … 370-pound bench press … 450-pound back squat … 308-pound power clean … 31 3/4-inch arm length … 9 3/4-inch hands … Right-handed … 24/36 Wonderlic score.

Combine: Did not receive an invitation.

High School

Attended Vanier (Montreal, Quebec) Prep School, playing football for head coach Ray Gagnon … Rated the best high school prospect in Canada during his senior year and was named the League MVP and Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and senior … Served as captain of Team Canada as a junior … School's Athlete of the Year as a freshman, leading the squad to a 42-4 record during his career and winning a regional championship in 1999 … Also lettered in track.


Athletic Training/Sports Medicine major … Served as a volunteer basketball coach at the local YMCA … Son of Denise and Hollis Arthur … Born 8/28/82, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


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