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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Former Alabama CB Terrion Arnold has ‘unbelievable ball skills’, per NFL Draft analyst

Alabama CB Terrion Arnold (No. 3) celebrates a pass breakup in Rose Bowl against Michigan.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports

The growing pains he endured as a first-year cornerback for Alabama football in 2022 was worth it.

Terrion Arnold went from a high school safety to one of the best coverage cornerbacks in this NFL Draft class. 

RELATED: WATCH: Terrion Arnold shares special moment with Terry Saban in return to Tuscaloosa

He put his best tape for professional teams to see in 2023 — posting 63 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a sack, 12 pass breakups (team-high), two quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, and five interceptions (team-high). Arnold’s closing speed to break up passes, create interceptions, and lay big hits on receivers was felt last year. He was prominent in the Crimson Tide winning a Southeastern Conference Championship and getting to the College Football Playoff. The Tallahassee (Fla.) native clocked a 4.51 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine and looked great in on-field drills.

He improved his 40-time at Alabama’s Pro Day.

Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout turned draft analyst, raved about Arnold’s skill set ahead of the draft.

“Terrion Arnold is one of the best cornerback prospects in this entire draft,” Jeremiah said.

“He’s got unbelievable ball skills, smooth, fluid, physical, tough.”

Jeremiah highlighted Arnold’s excellence in press coverage and physicality in coverage.

He also enjoys how Arnold is able to explain the plays he makes on the field from his tape study.

The most important aspect an NFL team will love about Arnold is his energy on and off the field. He was one of the most genuine players in the Nick Saban at Alabama that everyone loved.

“He is going to bring energy and life not only to a defense, but to an entire organization,” Jeremiah said about Arnold. 

“This dude is always smiling, he’s always bouncing around, he is a ball of energy who’s universally loved by all his teammates, all his coaches, everybody loves this kid.”

Jeremiah compared Arnold to Jaylon Johnson of the Chicago Bears. 

Both players have similar styles and had nearly identical testing numbers at the NFL Combine.

Johnson was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and made his first Pro Bowl in 2023. Arnold projects as a first-rounder in this draft.

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Stephen M. Smith is the senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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