Wide receiver Adrian Arrington has decided to bypass his senior season with the Michigan Wolverines and enter the 2008 NFL draft.
Arrington's decision is not an overly surprising one. The dramatic changes taking place in Ann Arbor, Mich. as well as the great finish he had to a solid junior campaign made his early entrance to the pros expected.
As a freshman, in 2004, Arrington caught two passes for 12 yards. He didn't have a big role in the offense and contributed mostly on special teams while appearing in eight games.
The 2005 season was a difficult year for Arrington as he sustained an injury covering a kickoff during the season opener. He did not play in another game that season and recorded no statistics. He was granted a medical redshirt for the year, allowing him the option of returning for a fifth season.
In 2006, Arrington saw a drastic increase in his playing time allowing him to produce offensively for the first time in his collegiate career. He recorded 40 catches for 544 yards and eight touchdowns.
Last season was Arrington's best. He posted 67 receptions for 882 yards and eight touchdowns. He capped the year with an outstanding performance in the Capital One Bowl, hauling in nine passes for 153 yards and two scores.
Arrington, who measured 6-foot-2 7/8, has good height and is a big target - especially in the red zone. Big receivers tend to be the trend in the NFL as of late, and Arrington fits that mold.
Possessing quality hands, Arrington seems to catch most everything thrown in his area. His catching ability combined with his size make him a terrific target for red zone and short-passing situations.
Arrington has a knack for finding the open area on the field and picking up the extra yards after the catch. Arrington has also displayed the willingness and ability to block downfield.
Also, playing for Michigan has given Arrington some useful experience in dealing with both victory and defeat. In 2006, Arrington was part of a Michigan team that finished 11-2 and participated in the Rose Bowl. Last season was a campaign filled with adversity and Arrington had the opportunity to be involved in the team's attempted turnaround from a disappointing 0-2 start - cumulating in a 9-4 finish with a Capital One Bowl victory.
The biggest concern surrounding Arrington may be his speed (4.54 40-yard dash). While he is not slow, he does not possess the speed of most top-end wideouts. He will most likely be considered a possession receiver with a limited downfield threat, leaving him best suited as a No. 3 receiver.
Arrington has shown some hesitation for going over the middle of the field. This isn't a major concern as he is willing to make plays in this area of the field; however, even the slightest hesitation of crossing the middle could deter interest in Arrington because he has limited range as it is.
Sometimes Arrington allows too many balls to come into his chest, but that is easily correctable. He is slow out of his breaks and off the line of scrimmage, too. He could improve his route-running ability considerably, as well.
Arrington spent last season as the No. 2 receiver behind Mario Manningham, so it is uncertain if his production would have been the same had he faced the same coverages as Manningham.
Also, Arrington has some off-the-field issues that have raised some red flags. Arrington will find himself answering questions regarding the misdemeanor domestic violence charge brought against him in 2006 when he interviews with interested teams.
Expected Draft Placement
Some teams - especially those with short-passing attacks - may covet a receiver like Arrington due to his size and hands, two characteristics that cannot be coached. Arrington has some of the tools needed to be a productive receiver. He was overshadowed during his collegiate career by teammate Manningham; however, Arrington wouldn't be the first receiver in NFL history to dominate in the pros after being overshadowed by a teammate in college (see Chad Johnson).
Arrington is considered no more than a fourth- or fifth-round pick presently. It is unlikely that his draft stock will rise much more than that, so expect to hear his name called during the second day.
About Mike Mady
Mike Mady has been a KFFL contributor since 2005.
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