Lions 1st-Round Pick Says Raiders Almost Drafted Him Over Brock Bowers

terrion arnold

Getty Detroit Lions CB Terrion Arnold.

The Las Vegas Raiders made one of the more surprising picks in the 2024 NFL Draft when they selected tight end Brock Bowers with the No. 13 pick. It wasn’t surprising due to Bowers’ ability as he was expected to be a top-10 pick.

The Raiders used an early second-round pick to draft tight end Michael Mayer just a year ago so it wasn’t seen as a position of need. However, the team almost went in a very different direction. According to former Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold, it literally came down to a coin flip between him and Bowers when Las Vegas was on the clock.

“The Raiders coach, they called me after the draft, and they were like ‘We actually had a coin toss between you and Brock Bowers [and] it landed on him,'” Arnold said during the May 7 episode of  “The Next Round.”

It’s unlikely the Raiders actually flipped a coin but it must’ve been a close decision. Cornerback was a much bigger position of need than tight end and many expected the team to get in that direction after all the top quarterbacks were off the board. Arnold ended up slipping to the 24th pick where he was drafted by the Detroit Lions.

Did Las Vegas Raiders Pick the Right Player?

Bowers was the No. 7 ranked played on Pro Football Focus‘ consensus draft board for 2024 while Arnold was No. 14. Bowers was almost universally ranked higher as a prospect. In terms of value, the Raiders made the right move by taking the former Georgia tight end.

That said, not a single defensive player was selected before Las Vegas picked at No. 13 and if they thought Arnold was the best defensive player in the draft, it would’ve been justifiable for them to take him.

The Raiders have yet to add a cornerback since the drafted ended but they could be waiting until after June 1 when they open up more salary cap space. While Arnold made more sense as a fit, it’s hard to argue against the Raiders taking Bowers. He’s considered one of the best tight end prospects ever and should be a serious impact player from Day 1. The last four times the Raiders used a first-round pick on a cornerback, they were all busts and never got a second contract with the team. They’ve done a very poor job drafting the position over the last two decades and ended up going with Bowers, who is less likely to struggle in the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders Still Need a CB

The Raiders waited until the fourth round to draft a cornerback when they selected Decamerion Richardson. He’s unlikely to be ready to start as a rookie so the team needs to consider signing a veteran.

Luckily, there are several good players still in free agency. Xavien Howard would make the most sense as he’s worked with defensive coordinator Patrick Graham in the past. Adoree’ Jackson also has experience with the coach. Stephon Gilmore would make sense, as well.

The Raiders weren’t able to add a top cornerback in the draft but the abundance of good veteran free agents still available could’ve played a role.

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