Terrion Arnold easily pointed to as a critical player for the Lions in 2024

Terrion Arnold is lined up for a big immediate role, and with that comes the clear idea he's one of the Lions' most important players this season.
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Fortune smiled on the Detroit Lions in April's draft when defensive players fell down the first round, and when Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold fell far enough they gladly traded up to get him at No. 24 overall.

Arnold has made an immediately good impression with everything he has said and done. He was highlighted by reporters for his performance during minicamp last week, as he's showing he's ready to be an immediate starter at the cornerback spot opposite Carlton Davis. He's certainly got the swagger and confidence he'll need to succeed.

If Week 1 were this week, Arnold would be starting for the Lions. Presumably, when pads come on in training camp, that won't change. It feels like he will have be clearly beaten out for the aforementioned starting spot opposite Davis.

Rookie cornerbacks will be naturally tested right out of the gate. It's assumed Arnold will be up to the task, but right now we just can't know for sure he will be.

Terrion Arnold pointed to as one of the most important players for the Lions this year

In two separate pieces, Bleacher Report has pointed to Arnold as a pivotal player for the Lions this year.

First, in naming one player who will make or break every Super Bowl contender this year, Alex Kay had Arnold for the Lions.

"Expectations will be high for Arnold, but rookie corners have been making an immediate impact in the NFL in recent years. Sauce Gardner was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2022 and has been arguably the league's best cornerback since the New York Jets took him with the No. 4 pick two years ago....

"Arnold could be the next cornerback who changes his team's fortunes from the jump. The Lions need him to be great, especially after their defense got surgically dissected by Brock Purdy during their brutal 17-point collapse in the NFC Championship Game."

"If Arnold can lock down some of the league's best wideouts, Detroit will have an inside track to avenging that painful NFC title game defeat and reaching the Super Bowl."

B/R's Matt Holder then outlined the biggest question facing each NFL team after OTAs.

For the Lions, it's "Can Terrion Arnold live up to expectations in year one?", while noting the good work the rookie did during OTAs, as chronicled by Tim Twentyman of Lions.com.

The Lions' pass defense was a legitimate eyesore last season. Arnold was of course a key piece of the remodeling of the cornerback depth chart that aimed to fix it. If he has ups and downs during his rookie season it won't necessarily wreck the Lions' season, but if he performs like a lockdown corner from the start (and all season) it will make a big difference.


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