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Dallas Cowboys 2020 NFL draft scouting report: Clemson CB A.J. Terrell

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A.J. Terrell at 17th overall for the Cowboys?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Cowboys surely have a handful of players they are looking at for the 17th pick. These are players they think are likely to be available, and that they have rated high enough to go at #17. One of those players could be surprise to many, but informed speculation says A.J. Terrell is going to be one of the candidates for the 17th overall pick. So let’s see what he beings to the table to help replace Byron Jones.

Name: A.J. Terrell

School: Clemson

Height: 6-1

Weight: 195

Class: Junior

Position: CB

Jersey: #8

Strengths:

The first thing that stands out with Terrell is how competitive he is in coverage. Uses his athletic traits to his advantage at the line of scrimmage with his mirroring skills, and throughout receivers route stems to stay sticky in coverage. Very good in press, consistently disrupting wideouts timing with accurate strikes. Has some decent length that he uses around the line of scrimmage and to knock the ball away at the catch point. Drives on the ball well when playing off coverage, and showed good reaction skills on balls thrown underneath. Uses the boundary well to pinch receivers routes. Nags receivers up the route-stem with aggressive hand-fighting and savvy grabbing. Really stepped up for Clemson in 2019 as the teams #1 cornerback. Confidence is a strong-point in Terrell’s game, and there’s little chance of knocking him off his game. Terrell showcased good ability in trail-coverage, and should continue to develop his technique as he receives coaching and develops physically.

Weaknesses:

Roller-coaster of a ride watching his tackling throughout his years at Clemson. At times seemed disinterested and soft in run support. Needs to learn to not be so grabby when he’s in good position on vertical routes. Jamar Chase gave him some issues in the National Championship game, but he never lost his swagger. Has to have a better understanding for giving receivers releases based on help he has. Doesn’t quite play as athletic as his numbers would suggest. Field vision was an issue, as he consistently got caught up in picks when he had opportunities to avoid them.

Overall Summary:

While having some woes as a run defender, Terrell is an excellent cover cornerback with ideal size, athleticism, and length for the position. Terrell will excel in press-man schemes where he’s able to use his mirroring skills and length to overwhelm receivers throughout routes. Ball skills showed improvement in 2019, and while he isn’t what we’d call a ballhawk, he showed more than enough ability to make plays on the football. Terrell is an ascending-player with traits that will make the Cowboys see a Byron Jones replacement given his size, length, and athleticism at the position.