Terrion Arnold Is a Physical CB Prospect Who Can Turn into a Lockdown Defender

Sep 23, 2023; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) carries the ball after an interception against the Mississippi Rebels during the second half of a football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

While many are hoping that the Minnesota Vikings target a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft, there is a possibility that they are unable to do so.

If the Vikings were to look elsewhere with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, there is a very talented cornerback prospect from a prestigious football program who could be ripe for the taking with the 11th overall pick. That player is Alabama CB Terrion Arnold, and he is the focus of today’s edition of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series.


Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive back Terrion Arnold (DB02) talks to the media during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 189 pounds
  • Arm Length: 31 5/8″
  • Hand Size: 8 7/8″
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.5 seconds
  • 10-Yard Split: 1.54 seconds
  • Vertical Jump: 37″
  • Broad Jump: 10′ 9″
  • School: Alabama
  • Games Watched: Texas A&M (2023), LSU (2023), Georgia (2023), Ole Miss (2023), Texas (2023)

Terrion Arnold came out of high school as one of the most highly-touted recruits in all of football. 247 Sports gave him a five-star rating and listed him as the 26th overall prospect in the Class of 2021. As a result, he landed with the Alabama Crimson Tide where he played his entire collegiate career.

After Arnold was a redshirt during his freshman year, he jumped into the Alabama defense in 2022, but the Crimson Tide missed out on the College Football Playoff for just the second time since it was put into existence in 2014. The cornerback was named a Freshman All-American for his efforts.

Arnold continued to build on his success in 2023 by recording the most interceptions in the SEC (5). He was named a First Team All-American and helped Alabama to a 12-1 record before falling to Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

Now, Arnold hopes to become yet another Alabama player to head towards the top of the NFL Draft this spring.


Oct 7, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Caleb Downs (2) and defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) celebrate after a play during the third quarter against the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2022: 45 tackles, 1 TFL, 8 passes defended, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery 82.5 NFL passer rating against (11 games)
  • 2023: 63 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 1 sack, 12 passes defended, 5 INTs, 1 forced fumble 50.7 NFL passer rating against (14 games)


Mar 1, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive back Terrion Arnold (DB02) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arnold brings solid length to the cornerback spot, and his physicality on the boundary gives him an ability to shutdown opposing receivers in man coverage. He is very twitchy in coverage, allowing him to keep up with explosive wide receivers off the line and change directions with ease.

At Alabama, Arnold began his career solely as a boundary player in 2022, but he was able to sprinkle in some snaps out of the slot during 2023. Per PFF, he played 557 snaps on the boundary compared to 205 snaps in the slot this past season.

Arnold’s strength and physicality extends into the running game as well. He is a very capable tackler, missing just one tackle throughout the 2023 season in run defense.


Nov 25, 2023; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Jarquez Hunter (27) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) and defensive back Jaylen Key (6) during the first quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Arnold’s physicality is spectacular at the line of scrimmage, but it could get him into trouble downfield at the NFL level. He does a decent bit of grabbing at receivers in coverage, which will be penalized in the NFL far more often than it was in college (had seven penalties throughout his collegiate career). He could also still bear to develop further in zone coverage.

Finally, Arnold’s speed, while great in short areas of the field, could be a bit suspect downfield. He might have some trouble guarding speedsters.

NFL Projection

Oct 7, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold (3) defends against a pass intended for Texas A&M Aggies wide receiver Ainias Smith (0) during the fourth quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Draft Stock: First Round
  • Immediate Role: Starting Boundary CB
  • NFL Comp: Jaylon Johnson
  • Vikings Draft Thermometer: 40

The Vikings have plenty of bodies in their cornerback room at this point, so there may not be much urgency to spend a first-round pick on another prospect for that group this offseason, particularly if players like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter head elsewhere in free agency.

However, Arnold is a very talented prospect with terrific length and speed at the position, allowing him to cover a multitude of receiver archetypes. If the Vikings do need to add another player to that room, the Alabama product could be an intriguing one to watch.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via 247 Sports, Pro Football Focus, and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.