PROS: Has good speed and burst and can run with receivers. Does a nice job when he can keep things in front of him, and shows ability to break on the ball for the big play. Shows ability to come off the corner as a blitzer. Is willing in run support and shows ability to break down and make tackle in the open field. Fiesty and won't back down due to size. Is a good punt returner that has good speed and acceleration and big play potential. Is a tough runner that can make the first guy miss on punts. Has good vision as a kickoff returner.
CONS: Is undersized and it shows in run support. Has trouble matching up with bigger wideouts. Has some sloppy footwork and technique. Will give up too much cushion and get turned around in coverage. Doesn't have great hips and has trouble turning and running. Can get caught out of position in space and needs to show more awareness there. Doesn't always take the shortest route to the quarterback when blitzing off the corner.
OVERVIEW: Productive corner but excelled as a return man at Alabama. Was a starter, often charged with covering slot receiver. In two years as a starting corner he had 7 sacks and 6 picks. Averaged 14.3 yards per punt return and scored 7 scores there. Not as effective on kickoffs, but still managed to average 24.1 yards per return in his career. HIs cousin is Gilbert Arenas.
NFL FORECAST: Arenas impact will be mostly on special teams as a return threat, particularly as a punt returner. He has ability to develop to contribute on defense, but at best he's a nickel corner. Frankly, Arenas is a similar prospect to Allen Rossum. He has the potential to be a nice No. 3 corner, but unless he can make significant improvements to his awareness and footwork, then he's going to be exposed more often than not. I think he'll spend most of his career as a No. 4 corner like Rossum that should have a nice long NFL career as long as he continues to be a productive punt returner.
ATL FORECAST: Because of his production in college, one would expect that he should win the punt return job right away. And his presence would likely make Brian Williams or Brent Grimes hold on a roster spot tenuous since there's a finite number of corners the team can activate on Sundays. Arenas could develop as a nickel back, but I don't see him as anything better than the fifth best corner on the roster. And even if he develops, he's not going to be any better a player than Grimes has been, which is a guy that plays hard but his lack of size limits just how much he should be relied upon.
VALUE: Purely as a cornerback prospect, he's at best a sixth or seventh round pick. But his return abilities makes him a third or fourth round pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 2.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 2.0
BALL SKILLS: 3.0
Scouting reports of cornerbacks in the 2010 draft.
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