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2024 NFL Draft

Steelers Draft Profile: Terrion Arnold the Next Versatile Alabama DB



Pittsburgh Steelers Terrion Arnold
Alabama CB Terrion Arnold

INDIANAPOLIS – Just as we all expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers are putting an all-out blitz on the cornerbacks at the NFL Combine, interviewing essentially all of the top prospects at the position. In an extremely talented class, Alabama’s Terrion Arnold has a legit claim to be the best player of the group. On Wednesday, he confirmed that he met with the Steelers, who were among one of the 25 formal meetings that he has scheduled here in Indy.

Versatile defensive backs are no stranger to the steel city and Arnold had high praise for Minkah Fitzpatrick, calling him “the GOAT.” Similar to the Steelers do-it-all weapon, Arnold comes with extensive versatility. Coming out of high school, he was one of the top safety prospects in the country before committing to the Crimson Tide and subsequently redshirting his first year on campus.

In 2022, Arnold made the switch to cornerback, earning playing time while starting to establish himself as a key piece on Nick Saban’s defense. But in 2023, he blew all expectations out of the water. When the greatest college coach of all time starts putting more responsibility in a particular defensive back, asking him to play inside and out, you know that he’s the real deal. When Arnold speaks, you can tell that he oozes confidence in his ability to thrive in whatever role he’s needed in.

“When I’m on the field, I feel like I can play any position in the secondary. When I line up in the slot, I’m kind of like an outside linebacker. I have the feel to run, to set edges, take on blocks and I have to cover.” His responsibility shifts a bit when lined up outside. Arnold explained: “When I’m outside at corner, I’m thinking about guarding my man, making plays for my defense and getting the ball back.”

While his success does seem like it appeared overnight, a lot went into his transformation into an elite prospect. Arnold explained his process, generated by some friendly competition between him and his quarterback, “Jalen Milroe was always the first one to the facility at Alabama. I would always try to beat him there. We kind of had our Kobe Bryant competition going on.” Beyond his work ethic, his personality certainly stood out at the podium. He recalled his meeting with the Arizona Cardinals where they asked him to demonstrate his press technique, “I said coach, do you want me to hit you for real? He said yes, so I hit him, I jammed him.”

The first team All-American had a bunch of notable performances this past season in the SEC where he faced top competition on a weekly basis. After his podium scrum, I was able to ask him what his best game was. At first, Arnold replied “LSU” before changing his mind to Kentucky, a game in which he forced multiple turnovers.


Measured at the 2024 NFL Combine: 5-foot-11 3/4, 189 pounds, 8 7/8-inch hands, 31 5/8-inch arms, 74 1/4-inch wingspan.

During the on-field testing portion of the Combine, Arnold tested averagely as his 40-yard dash was a 4.5-flat and his split was 1.54 seconds. Arnold recorded a 37-inch vertical and a 10-foot-9 broad jump.


Terrion Arnold

As you can see on his NFL Mock Draft Database average, Arnold’s stock continually rose throughout his redshirt sophomore season, going from Kool-Aid McKinstry’s sidekick to arguably top cornerback off the board. If Pittsburgh is serious about adding him to the mix, it may require a trade up.


Athleticism is paramount when discussing cornerback prospects and there’s a reason that it’s referred to as a stopwatch position. With that being said, Arnold’s athletic traits are top of the line. He’s an energized mover with superb change of direction ability which is very evident when he clicks and closes on throws. His ability to seamlessly transition set him apart from his classmates. Arnold comes equipped with light, quick feet that he uses to mirror receivers movements and has a good feel for the routes down the field. His safety background certainly shows up on film. His dense frame, physicality and competitiveness against the run are just another reason to buy into him as a prospect.

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