One of the best resources for draft info every year is Bob McGinn’s Draft Series. For the uninitiated, McGinn has polled league executives and scouts about all the top players in the NFL draft for years. McGinn has again dropped the news on The Athletic, showing how prospects are viewed around the league in one of the most expansive and plugged-in write-ups every season.
These are always a great reference, especially when the Falcons are perceived to find a value prospect or reach for a player. The team’s most controversial pick this year was definitely first-round pick AJ Terrell, so I wanted to compare how he measured up according to McGinn’s sources.
First, scouts were pretty critical of trade target C.J. Henderson. This can provide a little context that scouts can find plenty of things wrong with top selections in the draft.
[Henderson] also signed a non-aggression pact with the enemy. He doesn’t even make a minimum effort to tackle. I don’t know how a guy can sit in there on Sunday afternoon and watch film with his teammates.
Scouts love to find writers to trash talk prospects, so the specifics you will want to take with a grain of salt. Other things, like rankings, help show a more league-wide consensus on where players are valued.
Terrell, the third corner drafted, came in at spot 5 in the rankings behind Jaylon Johnson (50th overall) and Trevon Diggs (51st overall). The rankings did not really play out according to the draft, such as Damon Arnette (19th overall, 9th ranked), Noah Igbinoghene (30th overall, 8th ranked), and Jeff Gladney (31st overall, 6th ranked) going before Johnson and Diggs. This indicates opinions ranged widely and some were likely more scheme specific.
Scouts differed on Terrell but it was a bit worrisome to see no scouts strongly supporting the corner.
You’re OK with him until the LSU game. I thought that game, in and of itself, would have kept him in school. He got twisted and turned and lost. For a good player, it was an embarrassing performance. But he’s young and he’s big and he’s fast, so somebody will take a chance on him.
The LSU game up from multiple scouts, but some pointed out that every defender struggled against Ja’Marr Chase in 2019.
He’s probably the second most talented guy behind Henderson but doesn’t play hard and misses tackles. At the same time, you see a guy that’s big and fast and can cover. As good of an athlete as he is, he does have some stiffness and he plays a little too high at times.
This is not exactly a ringing endorsements but is less negative.
“I don’t mind him,” said another scout.
On the post-draft review, it is hard to pull many positives from either Terrell’s ranking or the specific comments, whether you consider the negatives on other corners or not. The Falcons were in a tough spot in desperate need for a corner and could not afford to pay a CB1 in free agency.
This means they had to get a starter in the draft, for better or worse. That is not to say Terrell will not work out, however, he looks to have plenty of risk despite his lofty draft slot.