Tide's Cody, Arenas looking to size up in the NFL
Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
MOBILE, Ala. — Terrence Cody is a mountainous nose tackle who weighs nearly twice as much as cornerback Javier Arenas.
Despite their vastly different statures, the two former Alabama All-Americans both are trying to prove they size up as strong NFL prospects during preparations for Saturday's Senior Bowl.
The 6-foot-5 Cody weighed in at a jiggly 370 pounds before a crowd of NFL scouts, coaches and executives on Monday while Arenas measured in at 5-8 and 195 pounds.
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban got a big hug from Mount Cody after Monday's initial practice, but his first question was the same that many had wondered leading up to the week: "Why don't you just tell me what you weighed in at?"
"I weighed in at 310," Cody said, grinning. Once approaching 400 pounds in junior college, Cody was listed at 354 during the season. He often came out of the game on third downs and passing situations in his two seasons with the Crimson Tide, making stamina a question mark.
"Everybody here was asking how much Cody weighs," Saban said. "I said, 'Wait until he turns around and I can see him from the front, I'll give you a pretty good guesstimate.' I said 368, so I missed him by two pounds."
There was no questioning his ability to stop the run and keep two blockers occupied, his primary tasks. Cody was a first-team AP All-American both years at Alabama.
Both Cody and Arenas were two of the top players during the Tide's national championship run last season.
For Cody, the weighty question coming from NFL teams centers around his ability to effectively play more snaps.
The laid-back Cody, who patiently fields constant weight questions from reporters and NFL types, said he "really didn't look like I was heavy when I was out here running around" in practice. He said he spent only a week at his pre-draft signing class after the Tide won the national championship game in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 7.
"I'm going to work harder and start getting back on my diet and stuff, and just do what I've gotta do," Cody said. "I'm going to get my weight down, and when I get to the combine I'm going to be where I want to be."
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock believes Cody is a first-round talent for teams seeking potential stars in the middle.
"However, because he's so big and there's been these weight questions off the field, I'm not sure he's going to sneak into the first round," Mayock said.
The lingering questions for NFL teams, he said: "How many snaps are you going to get out of Cody? And are they going to be high-level snaps?"
Conditioning isn't an issue for the chiseled Arenas, who bench presses 425 pounds and finished his career 10 yards shy of the NCAA record for career punt return yards while starting in the secondary.
It's a double duty that both Saban and Mayock say adds to Arenas' draft value.
Arenas isn't concerned about size questions or the pressure of practicing in front of so many potential employers.
"I just go hard and play," he said. "This is what I do. Just go out there and play like I always played."
Saban says Arenas, a lightly recruited player signed by Alabama largely because of his return skills, could even hold down another NFL role: Part-time offensive player.
"You've got a guy who can play corner. He'll be a great nickel guy for you, which is where he was fantastic for us and be the kind of return player he is; and probably be a guy that you could use on offense a little bit, which is something we should have entertained more," Saban said. "He's got a lot of ability and can contribute to the team in a lot of ways."
Arenas had two interceptions in the BCS championship game and five on the season, along with five sacks.
Cody thinks his more diminutive teammate has proven size won't be much of an obstacle on the field.
"I'm real confident in him," he said. "He showed the world this whole year. I believe he proved what he can do this whole season. He's just got to prove to the scouts that he does play big and doesn't worry about his size."
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