Damon Arnette 2020 NFL Draft Profile
2020 NFL Draft
Damon Arnette is a cornerback out of Ohio State who is expected to be an early-to-mid-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Arnette made Second Team All-Big Ten in 2019 and has two bowl games under his belt, so he’s got the potential to be an impact NFL player.
College Career: Born in Dallas, Arnette’s family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida when he was two. He played linebacker and wide receiver in high school, and though he originally committed to South Carolina Arnette ended up choosing Ohio State on national signing day.
Arnette was limited by a bone chip in his tibia during his redshirt freshman year with the Buckeyes, but turned into a key backup for the team on 21 tackles with a pick in 13 games. As a sophomore, Arnette started in 12 of 14 games, leading the Ohio State CBs on 44 tackles with two interceptions. In his junior year, Arnette posted 40 tackles and a pick in 13 games, then decided to forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Strengths: Arnette has experience with the highest levels of college players, and he’s done pretty well against them overall. He can play inside and outside as a cornerback, and his physical gifts are NFL-caliber.
Arnette has a nice jab move in press coverage, and he utilizes his strength to mirror receivers closely. His eyes cycle well from the route to the quarterback, giving him some great opportunities to make a play on the football. Arnette is a physical player who can push through blocks and throw receivers off their routes at will.
Weaknesses: Arnette played with top-level pass rushers during his college tenure, so some naysayers will point that out. His hip movements need work, as he broadcasts his intentions early and a crafty receiver can shake him off. Vertical speed is also a downside here, and Arnette will get into pass interference issues if he’s left one-on-one with a talented speedster.
Arnette’s closing speed could also use some work, and in run support his angles need to improve. He’s an emotional player, and will need to keep an even keel at the NFL level.
Possible Fits: Arnette will be in play from day one, and he’s got great upside, but NFL teams will likely go with relatively surer bets in the first round. He’s probably going to be a Round 2 or 3 pick; a great ceiling but also some project work on his techniques.
In any case, Arnette’s likely destinations will likely begin appearing at around No. 43 overall. Chicago is sitting in that spot, and they need a versatile cornerback to serve opposite Kyle Fuller. He could also land a little further down with Minnesota at No. 58; also in the NFC North.
I don’t see Arnette lasting anywhere past around No. 69 overall. Carolina is in that slot and need to bolster their CB ranks after losing James Bradberry in free agency. If Arnette is on the board there, the Panthers will scoop him up.