2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: A.J. Terrell

  • A.J. Terrell, 6-1/195

  • Cornerback

  • Clemson

  • A.J. Terrell Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Good height
  • Good length
  • Fast
  • Very good straight-line speed
  • Size to match up against big receivers
  • Solid tackler
  • Willing to help him run defense
  • Physical
  • Projects well as a press-man corner

  • Weaknesses:
  • Better athlete than player
  • Needs development
  • Technique could stand to improve
  • Lacks strength
  • Lean

  • Summary: Clemson has been churning out tons of NFL talent under Dabo Swinney, and Terrell is the program’s top defensive back for the 2020 NFL Draft. As a freshman backup, Terrell had an interception and seven breakups. He then showed a lot of upside in his first season as a starter in 2018. As a sophomore, Terrell helped Clemson win a National Championship as the other starting outside corner with Trayvon Mullen. Terrell produced well for the Tigers that season with 54 tackles, three passes broken up and three interceptions. In 2019, Terrell totaled 21 tackles with a pass broken up and two interceptions. He was solid, but unspectacular, for Clemson and then had a rough bowl game in which he was repeatedly picked on by LSU to end his collegiate career.

    Team sources feel Terrell is a better athlete than a football player entering the NFL. Therefore, many have him graded in the second round even though he has a first-round skill set. Terrell has good height and length to go along with excellent speed. At the combine, Terrell illustrated how fast he is with a 4.42-second time in the 40-yard dash.

    For pass coverage, Mullen has good size to him and has excellent straight-line speed for a big corner. He is a solid tackler and willing to help in run support. Terrell could stand to improve his route recognition, footwork, and overall technique. He is not overly instinctive, and his route recognition has room for improvement. In the NFL, Terrell might fit best as a press-man corner.

    Terrell may not go in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but he looks safely to come off the board in the second round.

    Player Comparison: Mike Rumph. Terrell and Rumph (6-2, 205) are similar in size. Rumph was a good tackler who had issues in coverage, and not having good technique ended up leading to him not panning out in the NFL.


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