Why the Slide?: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Terrion Arnold

This series was created a number of years ago in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

For a lot of the pre-draft process, Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold was viewed as likely to be the first cornerback drafted and looked safe to end up a top-20 pick. However in the 2024 NFL Draft, Arnold surprisingly slid down to No. 24.

Team sources told WalterFootball.com that the biggest issue that hurt Arnold in the pre-draft process was his slower-than-expected 40-yard dash time. His time was around 4.50 seconds, and that is just a little higher than what teams want from their cornerbacks. Arnold was not slow on tape, but he was not a blazer, and the 40 time illustrated that Arnold could have some speed limitations for the NFL.

The Detroit Lions ended Arnold’s fall when they traded up with the Dallas Cowboys to go from the 29th- to the 24th-overall pick in order to select Arnold. He was the highest-graded cornerback for Detroit, and it was a perfect situation where the top talent available met a position of need for the Lions. Detroit traded for veteran Carlton Davis earlier in the offseason, but Davis is in the last year of his contract, so he is in a “prove it” situation. Detroit lacked any long-term projected starters at corner, and Arnold should fill one of the starting cornerback spots before long. He can compete immediately for a starting job with Davis, Emmanuel Moseley, Amik Robertson, Kindle Vildor, Ennis Rakestraw and Steven Gilmore. While Arnold might need some developmental time to get acquainted with pro receivers and offenses, Arnold should become a starter at some point during his rookie season. He also could become a very good pro from learning under Lions star defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. Arnold ended up in a perfect landing spot with the Lions and could be one of the steals of the 2024 NFL Draft.


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