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Falcons 2020 NFL Draft scouting report: CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson

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It’s never a bad idea to tap into the talent pool at Clemson.

Clemson v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It’s April, which means it’s draft month. In just a few weeks, we will finally see what additions the Atlanta Falcons will make to their roster with sights on reaching the playoffs next season.

Under Dabo Swinney, the Clemson football program has ascended to elite status across college football. Year after year, draft after draft, the Clemson Tigers have superior talent on the draft board waiting to elevate a certain NFL team. This year is no different.

With that said, it’s time for another scouting report that focuses on a former Clemson Tiger that can be a possible target for the Falcons early in the draft.

A.J. Terrell Scouting Report

Height: 6’1

Weight: 195 pounds

Career stats: 101 career tackles, six interceptions, 13 pass deflections, two forced fumbles

Games watched: 2018 vs. Duke, 2018 vs. Notre Dame, 2019 vs. Alabama, 2019 vs. Syracuse, 2019 vs. Ohio State, 2020 vs. LSU

Strengths

Signing with the Clemson Tigers in the 2017 recruiting class as a 4-star cornerback out of Atlanta, Georgia, A.J. Terrell became a full-time starter for Clemson in 2018. That season he earned third team All-ACC honors after posting career-highs in tackles (53) and interceptions (3).

Terrell is silky smooth in transition given his frame and shows plenty of fluidity, looseness when he must change direction. He is able to mirror receivers consistently thanks to polished footwork and agility. Terrell carries NFL length, which plays a considerable factor when in zone coverage. Because of that length, Terrell forces throws to be precise at times. Terrell is a disciplined corner as he reads the eyes of the quarterback and reacts properly.

Run support is a plus for him also as he is willing and able to contribute. You will admire Terrell’s hand usage as he is not a “grabby” corner, which is a testament to his transitional ability. Terrell also showcases soft, natural hands when making an interception. Questions against his long speed were questioned at the NFL Combine with a timed 4.42 40-yard-dash time.

Weaknesses

Terrell’s lanky frame is in need of improved strength. Questions exist whether or not his frame can add weight and maintain his speed and fluidity. When it comes to tackling, Terrell is more of an ‘ankle biter’ than anything thing else. Terrell is inconsistent when it comes to applying proper tackling techniques and rather throw a shoulder to a ball carrier.

When in press coverage, Terrell is able to press but he can improve his initial stab at receivers to delay the release. Ball location is not seen quite often on tape and is more of a question mark at this point.

Conclusion

A 6’1” defender with length and polished footwork, Terrell has plenty of traits to offer to the Atlanta Falcons. Terrell has experience in both man and zone coverages and thanks to his length and transition skills, Terrell allows the Falcons to incorporate more size and speed on the boundary that veteran Desmond Trufant could not as a starter.

Terrell gets a ton of flak for his performance against LSU’s JaMarr Chase in this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship game. While he did have a game that was quite probably his worst, the game should not be the ultimate summation of Terrell’s skill set. Terrell has shown considerable improvement during his time with Clemson and enters the NFL with a nice ceiling as a defender.

There is a second-round grade on Terrell from this writer, and he is a definite target if the Falcons were in search for a corner on day two of the draft.