NFL draft: Former Clemson CB selected in first round by Falcons


by - Staff Writer -
NFL draft: Former Clemson CB selected in first round by Falcons

Former Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell was selected with the 16th pick of the NFL draft's first round by the Atlanta Falcons Thursday.

The Atlanta native was a first-team All-ACC selection as a junior after totaling seven pass breakups, two interceptions and 39 stops. Terrell started each game of the Tigers’ 29-1 run over the last two seasons, tallying six picks, 107 stops and 20 pass breakups in 44 games.

The 16th pick is estimated around $14.3 million and a $7.9 million signing bonus per Spotrac. He is a second Tiger defender off the board this draft after Isaiah Simmons went No. 8 to Arizona.

NFL draft analysts were high on Terrell's potential.

"You look at AJ Terrell and he has the length and the recovery speed," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said. "He gets a little grabby and that will result in some penalties at the next level...Has to become a little more of a wrap-up tackler. The talent's there, just needs a little bit more coaching."

"He just needs to be a bit more consistent," NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said. "This is a guy who can really get up on the line of scrimmage and challenge you in press-man coverage. He has good route-recognition. It's really the last third of the (field) that I struggle with him. As far as his ability to consistently finish. That's where he got into trouble in the national championship (versus LSU). He struggled down the field, playing strong at the catch-point. He'll help the Atlanta Falcons secondary."

He joins Grady Jarrett among Clemson products in the ATL.

One of his more memorable plays as a Tiger got the scoring started in the 44-16 win over Alabama in the 2018 season’s title game.

ESPN ranked Terrell as its No. 6 cornerback prospect going into the draft. He was rated a top-25 overall prospect by CBS Sports and the No. 4 corner.

Terrell notes (via Clemson)

Became the 59th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.

Represents Clemson’s 34th first-round pick in NFL Draft history.

Was the second Clemson defensive back to be selected in the first-round all-time, joining Tye Hill, who was selected with the No. 15 overall selection by the St. Louis Rams in 2006.

Represents the third-highest selection among cornerbacks in Clemson history, trailing Donnell Woolford’s No. 11 overall selection by the Chicago Bears in 1989 and Hill’s No. 15 overall selection in 2006.

Became the 14th defensive back selected in the Swinney era dating back to the 2009 NFL Draft.

Was Clemson’s second No. 16 overall selection all-time, joining DT Chester McGlockton’s 1992 selection by the Los Angeles Raiders.

Became the eighth Clemson player selected by the Falcons all-time, joining DB Rod McSwain (1984), CB Reggie Pleasant (1985), RB Kenny Flowers (1987), DE Malliciah Goodman (2013), DE Vic Beasley (2015) and DT Grady Jarrett (2015), as well as the 1966 Supplemental Draft selection of LB Randy Smith.

Was selected by his hometown Atlanta Falcons, becoming the first Clemson player selected to play for his home state team since the Falcons selected Georgia natives Vic Beasley (Day 1) and Grady Jarrett (Day 3) in 2015.

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