3. If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, you have to love what the experts are saying.
Following the most recent NFL Draft and after each of the 32 NFL teams had claimed a few undrafted free agents, Grayland Arnold drew some praise from CBS Sports’ Josh Edwards, as he was named Philly’s best undrafted free agent pickup. Here’s a quote.
"Arnold is one of my favorite undrafted free agents. He may play cornerback, he may play safety. It does not matter. He has an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time and shows good athleticism. His career may begin on special teams but Arnold has lasting power."
Pat Ragazzo of SI.com had this to say in his draft profile prior to the most recent selection meeting.
"Arnold has good ball skills, speed, and versatility as he played numerous positions in the defensive backfield. Despite playing a lot at the safety position in college, Arnold will likely be limited to playing cornerback in the NFL given his size. (He) also returned punts in college, returning one for a touchdown in 2019. This is a role that can earn him a spot on an NFL roster if he proves he can handle these duties at the next level. As of now, Arnold will have an uphill battle to make a team out of training camp whether he is drafted or not. Contributing on Special teams and on defense in nickel/dime packages seem to be Arnold’s ace in the hole unless he develops."
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com is normally right on the money with these guys. He gave Arnold a pre-draft grade of 5.65, which means that he could be a priority free agent that has the chance to make the end of some team’s roster or their practice squad. Here’s some of his theory.
"Instinctive nickel cornerback prospect with above-average field awareness and ball skills to track it and flip the field. Arnold has man-cover athleticism with good route anticipation but lacks the big closing burst to quickly close ground after separation. He’s more impactful in smaller spaces where his instincts and quarterback awareness allows him to shade and squeeze throwing lanes. Arnold’s punt-return ability adds additional Day 3 value, but durability and tackling are concerning."
Are you convinced or still in need of further information? As you’re aware, with limited grass time, Arnold will have some issues with making this roster, but again, don’t be surprised if he does.
In 30 career games at the collegiate level, this young man tallied 106 tackles to go along with a sack, seven career interceptions, 13 pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. He also fielded 14 punts for 161 yards and a touchdown. Durability was a concern, but if what we saw from this young man translates from the Big 12 Conference to the NFC East, the “Birds” may have a steal on their hands.