Raiders dispute Terrion Arnold's claim that Brock Bowers was drafted instead of him by 'coin flip'

Bowers was selected at No. 13, while the Lions drafted Arnold at No. 24

Terrion Arnold was the Detroit Lions' first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, selected No. 24 overall, after the team traded up from No. 29 to get him.

Yet the cornerback out of Alabama says he was nearly picked at No. 13 by the Las Vegas Raiders. Appearing on "The Next Round" podcast, Arnold said he was told by a Raiders coach that the team was deciding between him and Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, and they ultimately made their choice on a coin flip.

"[The Lions] knew that the Raiders, there was a possibility they'd take me," Arnold explained. "And actually, the Raiders coach called me after the draft. They were like, we had a coin toss between you and Brock Bowers and landed on him."

After the Raiders passed on Arnold, the Lions tried to move ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had the No. 17 selection before trading with the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit wasn't able to pull off a deal, but the Jaguars didn't pick Arnold at No. 23 after moving down. The Lions then made a trade with the Dallas Cowboys to move up and get their man.

The Raiders deny Arnold's version of events, saying that such a conversation with the coaching staff never took place. Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce told ESPN's Ryan Clark that there was "no call and no coin flip."

"As soon as the last two QBs went off the board, we said Bowers all the way," Pierce added.

Raiders assistant general manager Champ Kelly also disputed Arnold's story.

"Yeah, I can’t confirm that at all. Terrion is a good player. I’m excited to watch his career and watch him play," Kelly told The Athletic's Vic Tafur. "But we drafted Brock, and we’re excited to get him here. And I don’t think anyone else in our whole draft room felt any other way."

The Raiders likely don't want any implication that they weren't fully confident in Bowers as their first-round pick, and any other NFL team would probably take similar umbrage. It's also very possible that whoever Arnold spoke to wasn't talking literally about a coin flip, but he took it that way. Either way, it makes for a great story.

Whether Bowers or Arnold becomes the better NFL player won't be apparent until years from now. Or perhaps both players will make their teams happy.