Draft Prospect Profile | CB Grayland Arnold, Baylor
Weight: 190 pounds
Baylor defensive back Grayland Arnold surprisingly announced he would forgo his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft this April.
In his freshman year for the Bears, Arnold started four games and appeared in 11 recording 20 total tackles, two for a loss, and four pass deflections.
Arnold followed up a solid first season by taking over as a full-time starter on Baylor’s defense as a Sophomore. In nine games, Arnold recorded seven pass bat downs (14 most in Big 12 Conference), 35 tackles, and notched his first career interception.
After a promising Sophomore campaign, Arnold’s Junior season was cut short due to injury, which saw Baylor redshirt him after two games.
Despite the injury, Arnold was able to come back in 2019 and have a strong final year with the Bears. In 13 games, Arnold produced a career-high 45 tackles and led the team with six interceptions (second in the Big 12).
This strong season earned him the honor of Second-Team All-Big 12. It also led to his decision to declare for the draft as opposed to playing his redshirt senior year.
Walter Football opined that Arnold should have stayed at Baylor because he is currently projected to be drafted in the sixth round or even later, potentially going undrafted. However, there are some scouts who believe one of the reasons why he left school early had to do with the coaching change after head coach Matt Rhule took a job with the Carolina Panthers.
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.
Arnold 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.
Why He's a Fit
Just like in baseball when they say, “you can never have too much pitching,” you can never have too many good defensive backs and Arnold is an option, who can hold his own as a nickel/safety type player.
The Giants could use plenty of secondary help as they had one of the worst pass defenses in the league last season. If Arnold is available in the late rounds or in the undrafted free agent pool, it is certainly possible he winds up in blue.
General manager Dave Gettleman has a solid reputation in finding successful players who go undrafted for example Andrew Norwell, Nick Gates, Kaden Smith etc. If no one selects Arnold, keep an eye out on Gettleman and the Giants picking him up.