It has only been about a week of COVID-19 camp where limited access has made it tough to get a feel on much going on in Flowery Branch. Media access is curbed, interviews are through the computer, and even professional photographers are having trouble getting to different team camps.
One of the few constants so far has been praise for rookie A.J. Terrell. There were consistent reports and rumors that the Falcons were trying to trade up for one of the top corners of the draft. Obviously, no trade occurred, and they ended up with Terrell, a player with few strong supporters among NFL scouts. However, post-draft, some teams had suggested they were eyeing the Clemson corner before the Falcons pulled the trigger.
Were the Falcons getting a raw corner with some serious concerns or was he one of the most-talented defensive backs? Early reports suggest the latter. We heard some praise about how Terrell was doing on Zoom calls but fans have been waiting for when the pads get put on.
Dan Quinn says Julio Jones has told him he's seeing good things from A.J. Terrell and that the two of them have a great back and forth while competing on the field. Quinn has been very pleased with what he's seen from Terrell.— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) August 23, 2020
The Mothership has been posting videos of Terrell who has been playing against Julio Jones a lot in camp. The second pass in this video shows Terrell right on Julio.
Julio Jones vs AJ Terrell— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) August 22, 2020
These two are already making each other better. pic.twitter.com/2748tae3QA
All teams are currently talking up their first-round picks so some of this is to be expected. However, even Vaughn McClure of ESPN noted Terrell’s performance.
Two really exceptional plays by DBs today. One was Kendall Sheffield breaking up Matt Ryan pass to Russ Gage in corner of end zone. Other was A.J. Terrell showing outstanding closing speed to catch up with Julio and cause incompletion near sideline.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 23, 2020
We still are not sure what we are getting from Terrell, but the early indications are the draft concerns were incorrect. The Falcons will need Terrell to keep it up as he replaced long-time veteran Desmond Trufant. The new-look cornerback group should be second-year Kendall Sheffield across from rookie Terrell with Darqueze Dennard covering the slot.