Three of Saban's last four corners have gone in the top 50 picks of the NFL Draft.
When choosing the top three corners of the Nick Saban era, three things were taken into account: coverage skills, versatility and toughness.
While he may not have ranked at the top of the list as cover guy, you would be hard pressed to find another UA corner since 2007 who surpassed Javier Arenas in the other two departments. The Tampa native wasn't the biggest or fastest corner to make the list, just the best all-around football player.
1.] Javier Arenas (2006-2009)
Why he's here: Perhaps the most versatile performer of the Saban era, Arenas played both inside at star in the nickel and dime packages and outside at left corner in the base. Made 28 starts while at UA, recording eight interceptions, 154 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. And have we mentioned that he was a pretty good return guy, too?
Claim to fame: Permanent team captain and second-team All-America selection in 2009.
Memorable moment: VIDEO: Arenas picks off Tebow.
Next level: Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Appeared in 31 games in first two seasons as a pro, recording 76 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Also an option on kickoff and punt returns.
2.] Dre Kirkpatrick (2009-2011)
Why he's here: In terms of size and speed, Kirkpatrick represents the prototype Saban corner. Took on more of a physical presence during his two seasons as a starter, especially when looking up receivers on crossing routes while in zone coverage. Recorded 91 tackles, including eight for loss, three interceptions and 16 pass breakups for his career.
Claim to fame: Thorpe Award finalist and first-team All-America selection in 2011.
Memorable moment: VIDEO: Kirkpatrick vs. Arkansas 2011
Next level: Selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.
3.] Kareem Jackson (2007-2009)
Why he's here: Stepped on campus in the spring of 2007 and proceeded to lock down the right corner spot for the next three seasons. Made 40 career starts, posting 159 tackles, including eight for loss, 29 pass breakups and five interceptions.
Claim to fame: Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-America in 2007. Jackson's 29 career pass breakups rank fourth on UA’s all-time list
Memorable moment: VIDEO: Alabama stuffs Ole Miss
Next level: Selected by the Houston Texans in the first round (No. 20 overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Made 29 starts in first two seasons as a pro, recording 113 tackles and three interceptions.
Next three: DeQuan Menzie (2010-2011); Dee Milliner (2010-present); Simeon Castille (2004-2007)/Marquis Johnson (2006-2009).
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