NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama CB Terrion Arnold

2WA9ETJ Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) celebrates during the CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game against the Michigan Wolverines, Mond

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The PFF big board is live, mock draft season is in full swing and the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up.

The cornerback class this year features high-end talent and even superstar potential, with players like Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean sitting atop the class. There is tremendous depth at the cornerback position in 2024, with seven corners ranking in the top 50 of PFF’s big board.

Let's look at Alabamas Terrion Arnold, who led the SEC with five interceptions in 2023.


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SCOUTING SUMMARY

Arnold played mostly outside cornerback for Alabama over the past two seasons but gained some experience in the slot in 2023. He has great long speed, recovery speed, acceleration and agility. He also brings impressive ball skills with good on-ball production.

With just one year as a full-time starter, he is a bit erratic in his style and had some missteps and whiffs on punches in press that got him turned around or off-balance.

When he's aligned and in phase, he has the talent to shut down all kinds of receivers. Though green on total snaps, he does show a good understanding of post-snap adjustments and man-match principles.

Click here to see Terrion Arnold's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

WINS ABOVE AVERAGE

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric evaluators can utilize to assess performance.

It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Arnold’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2022.

HOW ARNOLD RANKS IN THE STABLE METRICS

Coverage grade is not a stable measure by itself, but it becomes more stable when it is used to evaluate players who will go on to play in similar situations. For example, if a cornerback plays primarily on the outside or in the slot, his projection is more stable if he is projected to the same role the following year.

Plays in “single” coverage are more stable, whether the player is in pure man-to-man or simply matching up one-on-one from a zone concept.

Another way to isolate how a coverage player has been helped or hurt by his surroundings is using coverage grade when a QB is in a clean pocket and on plays in which the pass is out in 3.0 seconds or less. Both situations are among the most common for defensive backs, and a low percentage of targets in these situations suggests some kind of help from his pass rushers or opponents.

Forced incompletion rate is relatively stable from season to season, making it an important number when projecting future performance.

Arnold’s percentile ranks in the most stable defensive stats since 2022

Arnold played 790 snaps in coverage over the last two years at Alabama, earning an 87.6 coverage grade.

He’s been a solid man coverage corner and has the athleticism to keep that going at the next level. He displayed his impressive change of direction ability with a 6.69-second three-cone and showed off his explosiveness with a 10-foot-9 broad jump.

BOTTOM LINE FROM PFF's 2024 NFL DRAFT GUIDE

Arnold isn't the most polished cornerback in this class, but his high-percentile athletic abilities give him as high of a ceiling as any cornerback in man or zone systems.

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