In the first round of the NFL draft, the Lions trade up and select Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold

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Terrion Arnold

The Detroit Lions made a move to improve their secondary by selecting Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold with the No. 24 pick in the NFL draft after trading with Dallas on Thursday night.

The Lions traded up from the No. 29 spot and also got a 2025 seventh-round pick from Dallas. In exchange, the Cowboys received Detroit’s first-round pick and a third-round pick in this year’s draft (73rd overall). The Lions had obtained that third-rounder from Minnesota in an earlier trade.

Arnold was a first-team Associated Press All-American last season. He had five interceptions and 17 passes defensed while starting all 14 games for the Crimson Tide.

Arnold, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 189 pounds, was the second cornerback selected on Thursday, after Philadelphia chose Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell two picks earlier.

Terrion Arnold

Lions general manager Brad Holmes was surprised that Arnold was still available. He had been calling teams with picks in the “late teens” before finding a trade partner in the Cowboys.

Arnold was Detroit’s top-ranked cornerback. “I’m still kind of, ‘Never thought he’d be there,’” Holmes said.

Arnold stood out with his flashy attire at this year’s draft, wearing an electric salmon silk suit with a silver bow tie.

“You’ve got to have confidence, you’ve got to be borderline cocky but you’ve got to be humble at the same time,” said Lions passing game coordinator/defensive back DeShea Townsend about what he looks for in a cornerback. “He’s a kid that has confidence, but having that confidence he understands he has to work.”

The Lions’ pass defense was a weak spot on a team that reached the NFC championship game.

Detroit allowed 7.8 yards per pass attempt, which was the second-worst in the league, and gave up a league-worst 69 completions of 20 or more yards. Holmes said Arnold was the perfect fit in terms of talent and need.


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