Falcons first-round pick A.J. Terrell is living up to his draft slot

953201206143 no v atl

Some draft pundits, myself included, called the selection a reach when Thomas Dimitroff selected Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell with the 16th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He was arguably the best rookie corner in the league last season and by far the most reliable cornerback on the Falcons in 2020.

Terrell has all the ingredients to be an elite corner in this league, as it’s incredibly difficult for a rookie to be as resilient as he was his first season. He was on the wrong side of a few circus catches and also matched up against the league’s best receivers, yet he was rarely out of position, and his confidence never wavered.

Terrell has made quite the impression on the new regime and the media thus far in training camp. Saturday, Terrell had a terrific day with a notable pass breakup on Russell Gage, and much like his rookie season, when passes were completed, he seemed to have tight coverage. The following day, he picked off A.J. McCarron. Then in another practice, Terrell blanketed Calvin Ridley to the point where the ball wasn’t even thrown — prompting Arthur Smith to compliment his ability.

Smith isn’t the only one noticing Terrell’s improvements either. Russell Gage was asked what he sees in him that makes him better in year two after Thursday’s practice. “Oh man, just attention to detail,” said Gage. “He does little things before practice, after practice; I can tell it translates over, I go against him in one on ones, his details are precise. He’s really good; he’s coming out of his breaks faster. He’s going to be special.”

There was a follow-up question asking Gage to elaborate on what he meant as special, which he went into great detail that should have Falcons fans extremely optimistic. “From press to off, to anything, he works hard each and every week,” Gage said. “A.J. is one of those guys, he was great last year, you can tell he’s going to be even better. It’s broad, but that’s really what it is. His details on everything, you can kind of just feel it when you’re running routes against him.”

The Falcons may have their high-level corner of the future that wasn’t even a draft pick from the new regime. He’s certainly living up to his draft slot to this point.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: