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Some AJ Terrell Scouting Reports

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NFL Draft Bible:

Overview:   Playing a ton for national power Clemson over the last two seasons, cornerback A.J. Terrell possesses an optimal size-speed combination transitioning to the next level. His skill set profiles perfectly on the outside with the ability to match more physical wide receivers with his notable length.

Terrell has length for days that causes some major issues at the catch point, with the ability to win outside of his frame. He has all the tools to transition to a variety of coverages but may be best utilized as a press man corner who is able to mirror and match early in reps. Staying on a vertical plane, Terrell has some easy transitions to turn and run. He does have decent zone eyes, transitioning to the line of scrimmage nicely.

As a run defender, Terrell brings it. He has shown the ability to create big collissions but will need to secure tackles a lot better. There is some hip tightness transitioning laterally, which is expected from a longer corner. Wide receivers who win with quickness could give Terrell some problems. Some evaluations came to question Terrell's draft prospects after a less than stellar performance in the national title game against LSU. It cloused the reality that Terrell is one of the premier cornerback prospects in the entire 2020 NFL Draft, with the ability to develop into a number one cornerback early in his career.

Dane Brugler:

BACKGROUND: Aundell “A.J.” Terrell Jr. was a three-year starter on both sides of the ball at Westlake High School, just west of downtown Atlanta. As a junior, he posted 55 tackles, 16 passes defended and two interceptions at cornerback while adding five touchdown receptions on offense. Along with playing corner and receiver, Terrell split the quarterback duties as a senior and was named the 7A Player of the Year in the state. He finished the 2016 season with 53 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 15 passes defended and two interceptions, earning first-team all-state honors. Terrell also competed in track at Westlake, setting personal bests in the 100 meters (10.95) and 200 meters (22.32).
A four-star cornerback recruit out of high school, Terrell ranked as the No. 6 cornerback in the country and the No. 7 recruit in Georgia. He received a few dozen offers and narrowed his list down to Clemson, Florida (his “dream school”) and South Carolina, committing to the Tigers. His son (Aundell III) was born in June 2019. His older sister (Ariel) ran track and cross country collegiately at Western Kentucky. His younger sister (Arieaunna) runs track at West Georgia. Terrell elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
YEAR (GP/GS) TKLS TFL SACK FF PD INT NOTES   2017: (14/0) 15 1.0 0.0 0 7 1 2018: (15/15) 53 2.0 0.0 1 10 3 Third team All-ACC; Led team in interceptions 2019: (15/15) 39 0.5 0.5 0 9 2 First team All-ACC Total: (44/30) 107 3.5 0.5 1 26 6
 HT WT ARM HAND WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP    COMBINE 6011 195 31 1/4 09 75 5/8 4.42 2.58 1.55 34 1/2 10’09” - - 15 (no shuttle or 3-cone – choice)  PRO DAY       - - - - - 4.27 7.12 - (stood on combine runs, jumps, bench)
STRENGTHS: Excellent height/length with decent muscle bulk for the position…balanced athlete with controlled feet early to mirror from press…competitive play speed to run with receivers downfield…stays dialed in to shadow routes without hesitation…aggressive hands and hangs on receivers up and down the field…quick to get his eyes on the football and does receiver-like things at the catch point…plays angry in coverage…physical open-field tackler, going low and wrangling the legs…described as a “fierce competitor” by his coaches and a “program guy” who buys in and works his tail off…durable and didn’t miss a game in his three seasons at Clemson, including 30 straight starts.  
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t have the make-up speed to recover after a false step in coverage…slightly stiff through his core and can be driven off the top of routes…tends to turn his hips at the snap, making it tough for him sink and redirect…doesn’t rely on his peddle, limiting his break quickness…will struggle vs. route technicians if he doesn’t jam…combative mentality, but grabby hands will earn him attention from officials…average play strength and labors shedding receiver blocks…nine missed tackles on the six tapes I studied…inconsistent production as a blitzer.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Clemson, Terrell lined up at cornerback in defensive coordinator Brent Venables’ 4-3 base scheme, playing primarily press-man coverage, but also saw reps in off-man, zone and inside/outside. He didn’t perform very well in the final two games of his college career, especially in the national title game vs. LSU where Ja’Marr Chase dominated the match up, but his overall body of work shows a talented player, including a pick-six vs. Alabama a year earlier in the 2018 national title game. Terrell loves to challenge receivers up and down the field, showing the length and athleticism to stay within arm’s length. However, he will struggle vs. route specialists due to his average speed and inconsistent fundamental transition skills. Overall, Terrell must develop his hip and lower body mechanics to maintain his balance in coverage, but he is a well-built athlete with the physical and mental toughness to compete for starting reps early in his NFL career.

Terrell is hoping to be the ninth corner drafted from Clemson since 2010, ranking among the top programs in the country. It is no surprise Terrell has thrived with the Tigers, as he was a five-star recruit and top-15 overall prospect after excelling for Atlanta's Westlake High School. He played a role as a key reserve on Clemson's defense as a true freshman, posting 15 tackles, intercepting one pass, and breaking up seven others. Stepping into a starting spot for all 15 games of the team's 2018 national championship season, Terrell earned third-team All-ACC honors (54 tackles, two for loss, seven pass breakups, two forced fumbles). His biggest play of the year was his third and final interception, which he returned 44 yards for a touchdown against Alabama in the title game. Terrell finished his career as a first-team all-conference player for the FBS runners-up, starting all 15 games and recording 37 stops, two interceptions, and six pass breakups.

Long, press-man cornerback with thin lowers, but good overall size. Terrell has the foot agility and patience to pedal and mirror the release or jab and ride on it aggressively. He's an above-average athlete with quick burst to close out space in tight quarters, but he's not a classic click-and-close talent from off-man and issues with balance prevent sudden stops to shadow at the top of the route. The size and ability to hound 50/50 balls deserve recognition, but he lacks ballhawking traits, which could cap him as an average future starter.
  • Played in high-leverage matchups in the postseason
  • Has ability to grind on receivers from press
  • Punches inside shoulder and leverages release outside
  • Backpedal is low and steady
  • Adequate foot agility to mirror
  • Patient allowing release to develop before declaring hips
  • Maintains feel in early stages of the route and is quick to crowd the receiver
  • Hip flip from pedal is twitchy and relatively clean
  • Reads quarterback's eyes from Cover 3 shuffle
  • Plays into receivers in tight quarters, disrupting catch timing
  • Springy jump-ball challenger with plus body control and soft hands
  • Took on water in National Championship Game against LSU
  • Could face concerns about handling jump in competition
  • Leggy, with thin lower half and high center of gravity
  • Struggles to gather and remain in phase with comebacks
  • Pops up tall and false-steps driving downhill from top of his pedal
  • Angles to the catch-point need to become more aggressive
  • Loses focus from Cover 3 shuffle, allowing receivers to get behind
  • Recovery speed appears to be very average
  • Needs to fill and support run with better consistency
  • Takes angles of an arm tackler
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I actually think he is going to turn in to a fine pro in this scheme. Much of his reports seem identical to Sherman when he was coming out of school minus the technical finesse but with better game time speed and athleticism. If Morris was able to coach up the defence to an above average showing with less than 8 weeks last year, it could be safe to assume that he can fine tune those technique concerns. 

I know the Chiasson fan base is highly against this pick but, does the team need another attempt at an undersized pass rusher? Or take the chance on the long, rangy, press man corner that Quinn has wanted since day 1?

Edited by EastCoastFalcon902
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3 minutes ago, Dr Long Shot said:

CB was our biggest need and it seems like Terrell was the consensus 3rd best CB among GMs this year. I have no doubt in my mind Kinlaw would have been the pick but Terrell was probably the very next player on the big board for us. 

Does “biggest” need matter when you have so many? 

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He sounds like he's basically the exact opposite of Trufant in almost every way. Better in press versus zone. Long and rangy vs shorter and more twitch. Better against a taller opponent where Trufant got dunked on by Evans all the time. Sounds like he should be a lot better against the run than Trufant too. 

Sounds like the exact type of corner Quinn has always wanted here.

Also interesting how this CB tandem now are round 1 and round 2 picks, just like Trufant and Alford.

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8 minutes ago, ATLskinjob said:

He sounds like he's basically the exact opposite of Trufant in almost every way. Better in press versus zone. Long and rangy vs shorter and more twitch. Better against a taller opponent where Trufant got dunked on by Evans all the time. Sounds like he should be a lot better against the run than Trufant too. 

Sounds like the exact type of corner Quinn has always wanted here.

Also interesting how this CB tandem now are round 1 and round 2 picks, just like Trufant and Alford.

Tru is an off man corner. Terrell does really well in press man. Terrell has the mental part down and intangibles that Tru always seemed to lack here. 

Terrell struggles sometimes on final parts of routes and panics at times. That's a lot of corners though. He has the mental makeup to get better though. Having Whitt Jr as his secondary coach doesn't hurt.

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