From now until the 2024 NFL Draft takes place, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections, and priority undrafted free agents. Today, a scouting report on Alabama CB Terrion Arnold.
#3 Terrion Arnold/CB Alabama – 6-0, 196 pounds (Redshirt Sophomore)
– Solid size with some bulk
– Physical and aggressive player with good demeanor and mentality
– Versatile corner, experienced in different coverages and alignments
– Plasters well in man-to-man, drops his hips and changes directions to blanket dig and pivot routes
– Plus athlete who can turn and run; good speed
– Throws weight around and flashes hit power, able to separate player from ball at catch point
– Doesn’t give up on plays and fights to knock the ball out
– Sets edge against the run, aggressive downhill and impact hitter when he brings his arms and wraps up
– Played against top-flight competition
– Not fooled by trick plays and pump fakes, disciplined zone eyes
– Looks comfortable in the slot and can play all over the field
– Smart and well-coached, knows how to match routes and understands route concepts and combinations
– Productive career, ball-hawking numbers in 2023
– Young with room to grow
– Regarded as a hard worker
– Lacks top-flight size and length
– Good but not great speed
– Struggles most against underneath routes, curls and comebacks, has trouble breaking down and transitioning to stop and get downhill
– Needs to improve coordination, too often loses balance mid-route, especially vertically
– Must clean up his feet in press coverage; will false step and doesn’t get consistently good jams/reroutes
– Won’t always bring his arms to tackle and will lead with shoulder, going for knockout blow
– Will guess on routes and can get fooled, causing him to step wrong or be late to open his hips vertically
– Doesn’t have a ton of starting experience and must refine overall technique
– Can get grabby and be a little too aggressive; seven penalties last two years and can come in bunches
– 1.5-year starter, 21 starts for Crimson Tide
-Career: 108 tackles (7.5 TFL), 20 PDs, six INTs, one sack
– 2023: 63 tackles (6.5 TFL), 5 INTs
– Turns 21 in March
– 2023 AP first-team All-American
– Suffered concussion in 2023, missed two games in 2022 (one game because he was sick)
– Five-star recruit from Tallahassee, Fla., chose Alabama over Florida, Georgia, and Penn State among many others
– High school safety whom Alabama moved to corner
– Standout HS basketball player who had scholarship offers; considered also playing basketball at Alabama before opting against; also ran track (relays, 100/200 meters, and long jump)
– Gave high school janitor his jersey after promising he would in HS
– Calls former Florida State QB and NBA player Charlie Ward a mentor
– Can dunk between his legs
Terrion Arnold was a star recruit out of high school. After a redshirt year, he got the chance to play in 2022 and refine his game in 2023. He’s a well-rounded corner who can cover, tackle, and play the run. He does a great job plastering routes on extended plays and is at his best covering in-breaking routes. He smothers digs and crossers/overs, able to drop and open his hips.
Against LSU, he’s the LCB.
Arnold doesn’t just play the pass. He is strong in run support and as a tackler. His 6.5 tackles for loss in 2023 are notable and he’ll come downhill to blow up plays. His hit power can also jar the ball out at the catch point. Cut-up of his physicality.
Arnold seems to be high-character and a hard worker, working out daily at 5:30 AM in high school. He turned himself from a light recruit with one offer to being one of the top recruits in the country. He’s athletic and strongly considered playing football and basketball at Alabama though he ultimately gave up on the idea to focus on football. Really like the match system he played in and Arnold, despite his youth, is a heady player who understands route combinations.
Arnold’s game isn’t without flaws. He’s not even 21 and doesn’t have a ton of experience. It makes him raw technically, something even Nick Saban admitted in 2022.
“I think when he has bad habits in his technique, which I am not going to get into specifically, he allows the other guy to take advantage of him on releases and it does not always put him in a good position to play the ball,” he said via TDA in November 2022. “He played better as the game went on, so the guy has been a starter for us for half the season. He has the experience, he should be able to play with confidence, and we have confidence in him. He has to stay focused on doing things correctly because it helps him to put himself in a better position.”
Arnold struggles most against quick underneath routes, curls and comebacks. While he can sink and transition against in-breaking routes, he has trouble transitioning out of his pedal and breaking down and coming downhill in man-to-man. It creates a lot of space underneath.
Arnold needs to clean up his press technique and can guess when anticipating routes, leading to ugly reps. In the first clip, he gets baited by the inside stem and allows acres of space on the corner route. On the second, he’s late to open his hips on the nine-route and gets burned, only saved by an underthrown pass that allows Arnold to recover. Worth noting that both these reps came from the slot.
Overall, Arnold is a solid cornerback with good tape. His physicality as a tackler combined with his man-cover ability is solid. He’s young and his game is still growing. Arguably, going back to school for 2024 would’ve been the wiser choice and he still has to clean up the technique in his game. If he does that he can emerge as a top corner but expect him to take lumps early in his career. My NFL comp for Arnold is Noah Igbinoghene. Arnold could have the better career if he refines his game but coming out of college, the two share the same athletic profiles with potential but also risk in the rawness of their game.
Projection: Mid-Late First Round
Depot Draft Grade: 8.5 – Future Quality Starter (Second Round)
Games Watched: at Texas A&M (2023), vs Texas (2023), vs LSU (2023), vs Georgia (2023)