Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw highlighted on appropriate rookies list

Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw are in position to make an immediate impact for the Detroit Lions, and they've been put on a related list of rookies.

The Detroit Lions doubled up on cornerbacks with their first two picks in this year's draft, taking Terrion Arnold in the first round and Ennis Rakestraw in the second. General manager Brad Holmes essentially acknowledged they were the top cornerbacks on their draft board, and both look like a great fit all-around.

Rookie minicamp was an opportunity for Arnold and Rakestraw to starting forging a friendship, and by all accounts they did so. Rakestraw saw some work in an unexpected role during rookie minicamp, slot corner, which may be a good path for him to make an immediate impact as a rookie.

With the way the Lions' struggled to stop the pass last season, with shoddy numbers that don't need to be repeated anymore and being down to using Kindle Vildor as nearly an every snap cornerback by the end of the season, Arnold and Rakestraw are lined up to play significant roles right away.

Lions rookie cornerbacks take obvious spots on league-wide list

Dan Pizzuta of The 33rd Team outlined six rookies who are in the best position for immediate success in 2024. Arnold and Rakestraw are easily included.

"Arnold and Rakestraw have the versatility to play outside and in the slot with experience playing press and man coverage. Detroit has lowered its rate of man coverage during Aaron Glenn’s run as defensive coordinator, but it’s still around the top 10 playing man about 25 percent of the time."

"Per SIS, Arnold played man on 32 percent of his snaps and pressed on 22 percent, while Rakestraw played man 27 percent and pressured on 26 percent. Those figures were among the highest among drafted corners."

"Arnold should start on the outside opposite Davis, and he could be a plus No. 2 after his final season at Alabama. Arnold allowed 38 percent of targets to be completed against him and held opponents below a 35 percent success rate in both man and zone coverage."

"Rakestraw could serve as a movable piece that spells Branch in the slot and allows the second-year defender to move around more when necessary. It might also spark new defensive looks from the Lions who had the second-lowest rate of dime defense last season — just 0.1 percent. A defense that features (Carlton) Davis, Arnold, Rakestraw, Branch, (Ifeatu) Melifonwu and Kerby Joseph on the field at the same time could be devastating for opposing passing offenses."

The young centerpieces of the Lions' offseason cornerback overhaul clearly fit what they want from the position, in skill and mentality. Opportunity to make an immediate and significant impact naturally follows from that core premise.


Grading each Detroit Lions pick from the 2024 NFL Draft. Grading each Detroit Lions pick from the 2024 NFL Draft. dark. Next