Summary: Ohio State has been a factory of NFL talent, and that has especially been the case with the recruiting classes produced by Urban Meyer. During the 2016 season, the Buckeyes had a standout NFL secondary with three first-round talents at cornerback - Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley, and Denzel Ward - and one at free safety, Malik Hooker. After that group moved on to the NFL over two drafts, a new trio of corner talent took over for the Buckeyes, but that group was just as talented. Cornerbacks Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette and Shaun Wade could also end up being three first-round picks.
For years, it has been apparent that Arnette has a special skill set with size and speed. Team sources believed Arnette would run the 40-yard dash in the 4.3 at the combine, which didn't happen, but said his playing speed in somewhere in the 4.4s. The loss of pro days to the viral pandemic takes away Arnette's chance to improve on his poor showing from Indianapolis. Given his size and length, Arnette has a top-20 skill set. He did not always played up to his physical talent, and that is why he is not viewed as a future top-10 pick like Okudah.
Arnette first saw the field as a sophomore in 2017 and totaled 44 tackles with eight passes broken up and two interceptions. He had a rough start to the season and was better late in the year. As a junior, Arnette had some issues with discipline and gave up some big plays while also flashing his physical talent. He recorded 40 tackles with six passes broken up and an interception. If he had entered the 2019 NFL Draft, sources say Arnette could have been a mid-rounder with second-dayu potential based off his size and speed. However, Arnette wisely returned to for his senior year and was vastly improved over his junior performance. In 2019, Arnette totaled 35 tackles with eight passes broken up and an interception.
Scouts call Arnette instinctive, tough,and versatile. They like how he can play inside at nickel or line up outside with the ability to play man or zone. Arnette is very physical and has a feisty style of play that comes out with him being super competitive. Arnette challenges every throw and never makes it easy on receivers to get a reception. On top of having cover skills to stay with receivers, he is a very good tackler who doesn't hesitate to hit.
Arnette has the physical skills, instincts, and talent to be a top-20 pick, but team sources think there is a wide range of where he could get drafted, and that is because Arnette comes with significant off-the-field concerns. Multiple team sources said they have him graded in the second or late second/early third round because of character issues. They feel his mental makeup could be a problem as well. Other team sources say they've heard that Arnette has improved in the character department, and they think he could get first-round consideration. Thus, Arnette has a wide range of where he could go from late in the first round to somewhere in the third round. However for the NFL, Arnette has the ability to be a No. 1 cornerback and Pro Bowler if he focuses on football and works hard to be the best he can be.
Player Comparison: Marlon Humphrey. Team sources say Arnette reminds them of Marlon Humphrey. Arnette won't go as high as Humphrey did, but they have similar skill sets and are fighters who really compete.