Detroit Lions sign first-round draft pick Terrion Arnold, rookie contract details revealed

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On Thursday, the Detroit Lions announced they have officially signed former Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold to his rookie contract. The first-round pick is inking a four-year deal worth $14.34 million, which includes a signing bonus of $7.251 million. His rookie deal is fully guaranteed and includes a fifth-year option for the Lions to keep him through the 2028 season. Detroit will make the call on his fifth year after he’s played out the first three seasons of his career.

The team selected Arnold with the No. 24 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Lions actually traded up for the selection with the Dallas Cowboys, believing the former Crimson Tide star to be the best possible pick.

Arnold spent all three seasons of his college career with the Crimson Tide where he established himself as one of the best corners in the country.  After redshirting in his freshman season, Arnold was named a Freshman All-American and to the Freshman All-SEC Team in 2022 followed by a First-Team All-American selection and a First-Team All-SEC nod this past season. 

He ended the 2022 season with 45 tackles, nine defended passes, one tackle for loss, a fumble recovery, and one interception, but took his game to another level in 2023. Leading the SEC with five interceptions and 17 pass breakups along with 63 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a sack.

Arnold enters the league with 25 games played under his belt, as the 6-foot, 189-pound cornerback will look to make an instant impact in the league. 

Arnold played high school football at John Paul II Catholic in Tallahassee (FL) where he was a four-star prospect, ranked the No. 35 overall recruit in the 2021 cycle according to the On3 Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

What NFL Draft analysts are saying about Terrion Arnold

Continuing, Arnold is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in this year’s draft class, bringing the ideal size and skill to the table at the position in today’s game. NFL analyst Lance Zierleincompared Arnold to New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, speaking at length about the upside he brings to the table.

“Twitchy man-cover corner with outstanding athletic ability and the skill set to bring in ball production at the professional level. Arnold possesses average size but plays with a desired level of aggression and competitiveness in both phases of his job,” Zierlein said. “He’s fast and agile to match up against a variety of receiver flavors on the outside or in the slot.” 

“Arnold could squeeze routes tighter from off coverages and limit the yards after catch with a slightly different approach. His closing burst allows him to meet throws at the catch point with a natural feel for playing angles and attacking the receiver’s hands. Arnold will make mistakes with positioning and lose focus at times, but the athletic traits and nose for the ball create quality upside for him to be positioned as a CB1 within a couple of years.”

On3’s Kaiden Smith contributed to this article.

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