NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

NFL Combine Thursday notebook: Terrion Arnold connects with Antonio Pierce

5 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#LasVegas #Raiders #LasVegasRaiders #AFC #SilverAndBlackPride

By: Matt Holder

Terrion Arnold | Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Updates from Day 3 in Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN — The defensive backs were up at the podium while the defensive linemen and linebackers hit the field for workouts on Thursday, Day 3 of the NFL Combine. For the Las Vegas Raiders, that means we got some more information on two of their top needs for the NFL Draft, cornerback and defensive tackle.

Below are a few notes and highlights from the day.


Iowa defensive back and potential first-round pick Cooper DeJean suffered an injury toward the end of the College Football season but very little information was disclosed on the matter. On Thursday, DeJean clarified that he had a broken fibula. He’s been medically cleared but won’t test on Friday with the other defensive backs and will work out for teams later in the draft process.

Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold was impressive at the podium. He showed off his football intelligence by giving detailed answers about coverage schemes and his mentality against the run. Arnold said that he views himself as a linebacker when he’s playing in the box, being physical and setting the edge, which his film backs up. That stems from his background as a safety in high school where the defense’s philosophy was to “funnel the ball to Terrion” according to him.

The Alabama product also met with the Raiders and Antonio Pierce, per the post from the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore.

On a similar note, Khyree Jackson from Oregon also impressed me with his football IQ. He talked about what keys he looks for from wide receivers to help anticipate what routes they’re running and when to look for the ball.

For example, Jackson discussed watching a receiver’s shoulders to help identify whether they’re running a curl, go route or looking for a back shoulder throw and how that tells him which shoulder to look over to locate the ball in the air. He also broke down his playing style journey to the NFL in the clips below.

New Raiders running backs coach Carnell “Cadillac” Williams previously coached at Auburn, his alma mater, from 2019 to 2023 and served as the team’s interim head coach in 2022. Former Auburn corner D.J. James talked about what type of coach Williams is.

For a few administrative notes, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell was scheduled to speak with the first group of corners today but ended up having his media availability pushed back to later in the afternoon. His name tent was on the podium but was taken down while the initial wave of players entered the room. A similar situation happened with Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry where his availability was rescheduled as well.

The reason for either delay is unknown at this time, but players go from medical exams or physicals to speaking with the media and those checkups can cause delays. Silver and Black Pride will monitor the situation and provide updates when more information becomes available.

Defensive Tackles

T’Vondre Sweat’s weight has been a hot topic of discussion during the pre-draft process, and he officially stepped on the scale Thursday after not weighing in at the Senior Bowl. Sweat came in at 366 pounds, which is what he played at this past season. We’ll find out later how well he moves at that size.

Another former Longhorn defensive tackle, Byron Murphy II, had his measurements come in today. Murphy II is slightly undersized at 6’0.5” with a little longer than 32-inch arms. He’s also under 300 pounds as all three of those figures are less than desired for the position.

However, Jer’Zhan Newton’s numbers (unknown at the time of writing) should be about the same, so both top defensive tackles in this year’s class are size outliers. Of course, both guys have great tape, but this is something to consider when projecting them to the next level.

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s now official that Maason Smith from LSU is a monster. Smith measured in over 6’5” with 35-inch arms and those are elite measurements for the position. Also, he tipped the scale over 300 pounds and carries it well with little to no bad weight. The former Tiger certainly has a great physical profile, he just needs fine-tuning, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up getting drafted sooner than expected.

The former 5-star recruit and Top 20 player in the country for the 2021 class has potential that is through the roof, which a team could fall in love with and think they can work with him to improve his technique.

Workout Standouts

Florida State’s Braden Fiske stole the show on Thursday. He ran a speedy 4.78-second 40-yard dash, which was the best time of any defensive tackle, and clocked a 1.68-second 10-yard split, third-best. In the un-timed drills, Fiske looked quick and moved well to be the top performer at his position group and shoot up some draft boards.

Byron Murphy II from Texas did exactly what he needed to do as far as proving his athleticism. He posted a 4.87 40 with a 1.69 10-yard split, third and tied for fourth at the position, while also showing off some explosiveness with a 33-inch vertical. The latter was second only to Fiske (33.5”), and the Texas product is undoubtedly on the Raiders’ radar with the 13th overall pick, if they don’t target a quarterback.

Ruke Orhorhoro was also impressive, logging a 4.89-second 40 (fourth-best) and 1.67 seconds in the 10-yard split (second-best). On film, Orhorhoro also shows heavy hands and impressive upper body strength, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him crush it on the bench press during Friday’s session either. He has a very intriguing physical profile that any defensive line coach would be happy to work with.

Overall, it was an impressive showing for the defensive tackles and this year’s draft class has a lot of intriguing prospects at the position.

Originally posted on Silver And Black Pride