Skip to main content

NFL Combine: Top cornerback prospect Terrion Arnold impressing off the field as much as on it

NFL Combine Terrion Arnold Alabama Crimson Tide
Credit: Scott Gulbransen, Sportsnaut

INDIANAPOLIS — “To whom much is given, much is expected,” is a Bible verse that resonates with Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold as he speaks from the podium on Thursday at the NFL Combine.

As a redshirt sophomore for the Crimson Tide in 2023, he turned heads along with his fellow Alabama teammate Kool-aid McKinstry as one of the most heralded defensive backfields in college football. Now, both Arnold and his roommate McKinstry stand on the precipice of the pro football dreams as they participate in the annual NFL dog and pony show which preceeds the NFL Draft.

When he was asked about how it feels to be here in Indianapolis on the cusp of a promising career and a massive payday, Arnold said, “It’s deja vu. I’ve already had this dream. I was in front of y’all and talking to y’all and this moment to me, it means everything. Because I’m a I’m the type of person that really loves football. And I just feel like I’m very blessed and highly favored by God.”

Terrion Arnold could be first CB selected in 2024 NFL Draft

NFL Combine Terrion Arnold
Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

A first-team All-American in 2023, Arnold is consistently ranked as the second-overall best cornerback available in the 2024 NFL Draft but buzz around his off-the-field maturity, coupled with his impressive tape, have built in his short time here at the NFL Combine. With many ranking Iowa’s Cooper DeJean just ahead of Arnold, there’s no doubt in his mind that he’s the best available — and he’s not saying that to be cocky. He believes it and has no problem telling people he’s ready to prove it.

“The last time I lost my confidence was in seventh grade,” Terrion Arnold recalled. “I had an ankle injury and started to doubt myself. I was really low. My mother and grandfather helped lift me up. So I know what’s it like to be at the top and lose it all. In this world they really want to build you up to tear you down. I’m not going to let that happen.”

Arnold said the fact the he works hard, stays humble and has no doubts about his future keeps him motivated and focused.

“I wake up at 5:00 (AM), write out my goals and just get to work,” Arnold said.

It’s that work ethic, mixed with his talent and versatility, that have caught the eyes of NFL scouts since his first year getting playing time last season. A safety in high school, Arnold is a high-IQ player with breakaway speed that translates well to play the outside in the NFL. He can play as impressively in press and off coverage with good hands and top-notch physicality that makes him effective against the run.

“I’m a cerebral guy,” Arnold says of the switch of position from safety to cornerback from high school to college. “I knew that I could still be a safety but at the same time playing corner I had learn how to get my eyes locked in there. Doesn’t matter if I am playing inside or outside, I have a feel for it all.”

Teams already impressed with Terrion Arnold at NFL Combine

Terrion Arnold shared Thursday he has met with the Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. All of those teams have needs at cornerback and Arnold will almost certainly meet with several more.

Arnold shared his interaction with new Raiders coach Antonino Pierce who seemed to hit it off from a personality standpoint.

“He’s the guy who’s got a lot of engery, man,” Arnold said of Pierce. “And I walked in the room and he was like, ‘Are you an energetic person?”, I was like, you know I am, man, watch the tape!”

It’s Terrion Arnold’s maturity and that even-tempered yet confident persona that continue to create a buzz around him. Out of 300 players here at the Combine, he was by far one, if not the most impressive player to speak to the media this week. While no one can guaranteed success at the NFL level for even the best of college players, Arnold’s the complete package.

One team official from an NFC team that was heard saying, “How can you not absolutely love this kid?”

Despite the overwhelmingly positive feedback and feeling about Arnold as he gets ready to run through NFL Combine drills tomorrow, no matter what happens, you won’t have to worry about him changing or forgetting he’s fortunate to be where he is.

“I treat everybody with respect,” Arnold said when asked about the position he’s in. “I know how to treat the janitor just like I treat the CEO. You never know who you’ll come in contact with, and at the end of the day, man, you just want to give your family a good last name and try to leave the world a better place.”

Mentioned in this article:

More About: