Terrion Arnold drops bombshell that would have kept Lions from drafting him

The Lions took advantage of the opportunity to trade up for Terrion Arnold, but it almost did not come close to being possible.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When Terrion Arnold fell further than he probably should have in the first round of the draft, the Detroit Lions took advantage of the opportunity by moving up five spots to get him. Even better, the move to get Arnold apparently kept the division rival Green Bay Packers from getting him one pick later.

Driven by the first 14 picks of the draft being offensive players, some top defenders like Arnold fell down the board. He was the top cornerback in this year's class for a lot of analysts, so to get him at pick 24 looks like a remarkable steal.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler passed along insight suggesting the Jacksonville Jaguars, at pick No. 23, gave Arnold strong consideration. They took LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas instead, in deference to a deep cornerback class. So an alternate plan to trade up almost became necessary right before the Lions did so for Arnold.

But the Jaguars going another direction the pick before the Lions struck a deal to trade up for Arnold is nothing compared to this.

Terrion Arnold reveals what an AFC team told him about their first round choice

Arnold appeared on "The Next Round" podcast on Tuesday. He talked about the draft, with a specific mention of a team who didn't wind up taking him.

""(The Lions) knew that the Raiders, there was a possibility that they took me. Actually, the Raiders coach, they called me after the Draft," Arnold said. "They were like, 'We had a coin toss between you and Brock Bowers, and landed on him.' "

"The Raiders coach" implies it was Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce who told Arnold about the coin toss, and it may have been a purely figurative comment about Las Vegas' decision at No. 13. Not that he'd admit it, but Raiders assistant general manager Champ Kelly would not confirm the "coin flip" happened when asked on Wednesday.

Arnold went on to talk about landing with the Lions.

"I was like, 'Oh wow.' After the Raiders passed, (the Lions) said, 'Okay, we've got to get up there before Jacksonville.' They were trying to trade up to 15, 16 to get me. It's just one of those things where you go where you're wanted. That right there, that fit and as far as how the fans are, schemes that they run, even just being around guys like (former Alabama teammates) Jamo (Jameson Williams), Jahmyr (Gibbs) and especially Brian (Branch), it was a dream come true for me."

Fortune smiled on the Lions when Arnold fell far enough for them to make a reasonable deal to move up and get him. And a proverbial coin flip by the team that calls a gambling mecca home apparently helped give them the opportunity to do it.


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