Cornerback Javier Arenas became the first Alabama player taken on day two of the draft when the Kansas City Chiefs selected him with the 50th overall pick.
Arenas became the third Southeastern Conference player taken by the Chiefs in this year’s draft. He joins Tennessee safety Eric Berry (No. 5 overall) in the defensive backfield, and will likely complete with Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster (No. 36 overall) for return duties.
It was the best situation for Arenas, who was projected as a later second- to third-round pick, mainly because of his short 5-foot-9 frame. His on-field production moved him up even higher than teammate Terrence Cody, who many believed could be a late first-round selection.
But Cody didn’t have to wait long after Arenas. He was selected seven picks later by the Baltimore Ravens. Although the Ravens had a need at cornerback, they took their second front-seven player in Cody.
Cody’s fall into the middle-late second round centered mostly on the concern of his playing weight, which kept him off the field on third down situations in his two years at Alabama. He weighed in at 354 at the NFL Scouting Combine, a significant drop from his playing weight at the Capstone, but some teams were concerned about Cody’s ability to keep the weight off.
With the final pick of the third round, the Falcons selection of offensive lineman Mike Johnson marked the first time in draft history that five Alabama players were selected in the first three rounds.
Johnson, who reunites with former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson in Atlanta, is versatile enough to play any position on the line next season.
It wasn╒t until the final round that the next Alabama player was taken. In a pleasant surprise, Marquis Johnson, who was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, became the third Tide cornerback to be selected, as the St. Louis Rams took him with the fourth pick of the seventh round.
Brandon Deaderick became the final Alabama player selected when the New England Patriots took him with the 40th pick of the seventh round.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the draft’s final day concerning Alabama was that tight end Colin Peek’s name was not called.
After hearing teams were concerned about past injury issues with the former Georgia Tech transfer, Peek watched 15 tight ends go off the board on the final day. Just hours after the draft concluded, however, Peek joined Mike Johnson by signing a free agent deal with the Falcons.
Two Alabama linebackers followed suit with Peek and signed free agent deals Sunday. Cory Reamer signed with the New York Jets, while Eryk Anders inked a deal with the Cleveland Browns.
Place kicker Leigh Tiffin, defensive end Lorenzo Washington and safety Justin Woodall remain as a few more candidates from Alabama that hope to sign free agent deals in the coming days.
Seven of the University’s senior football players were selected in this weekend’s NFL draft.