Another Ohio State cornerback is off the board.
The Las Vegas Raiders selected Arnette with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, making him the second Ohio State cornerback drafted in the first round this year, joining No. 3 overall pick Jeff Okudah.
Blessed— Damon Arnette (@damon_arnette) April 24, 2020
Arnette elevated his draft stock significantly in his final season at Ohio State, in which he had the most consistent and dominant season of his career, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors all the while playing the entire year with a cast on his broken right wrist.
That season came after Arnette called a last-minute audible, on the advice of Cris Carter, to stay at Ohio State for one more year instead of entering the 2019 NFL draft. Now, his decision to stay in school has officially paid off with a draft selection much higher than he likely would have been picked a year ago.
After a conversation with @criscarter80 in the offseason, @damon_arnette made the difficult decision to return for his senior season.— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 24, 2020
A congratulations to Damon from the Hall of Famer.#GoBucks #DevelopedHere #NFLDraft @Raiders @NFL pic.twitter.com/lnKPNwlIsZ
Arnette becomes the seventh Ohio State cornerback in seven years to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft, joining Okudah, Denzel Ward (No. 4 overall in 2018), Marshon Lattimore (11th, 2017), Gareon Conley (24th, 2017), Eli Apple (10th, 2016) and Bradley Roby (31st, 2014).
He's the fourth cornerback selected in the 2020 NFL draft, following Okudah, Florida's C.J. Henderson (No. 9 overall, Jacksonville Jaguars) and Clemson's A.J. Terrell (No. 16 overall, Atlanta Falcons).
Arnette becomes Ohio State's 84th all-time first-round pick, extending the Buckeyes' lead for the most first-round picks ever back to two over USC. He was one of three first-round picks for the Buckeyes this year, joining No. 2 overall pick Chase Young and Okudah.
Going into Thursday night, Arnette was widely projected to be a second-round draft pick, but Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs suggested during a conference call on Wednesday that Arnette might go higher than people expected.
“Don't be surprised how high he gets drafted,” Coombs said Wednesday. “That kid's a player.”
Never doubt a Buckeye DB! This makes me so proud for his journey! Tribute to toughness and resilience. I love this kid! Congratulations Damon! #ifyoucomehereandbelieveandworkyoucanaccomplishgreatthings! #whosnext? #whataprivilegetocoachsomanygreatmen #whataculture! #BIA #Fight pic.twitter.com/5dBiKDavNc— Kerry Coombs (@DB_CoachCoombs) April 24, 2020
Arnette is the first Buckeye to be drafted by the Raiders since they took Conley, and he becomes the third former Ohio State player on their current roster, joining Johnathan Hankins and Rod Smith.
Coach Gruden and GM Mike Mayock are building a foundation, and @damon_arnette is ready to protect this house— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 24, 2020
Watch the call he got from Coach Gruden to join the Silver and Black. pic.twitter.com/BuVqG5N8nl
It's the first time Ohio State has had three first-round picks since 2017, when Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Conley were all top-32 picks, and the first time Ohio State has had at least three top-20 picks since 2016, when Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Apple, Taylor Decker and Darron Lee all went in the top 20.