The final line on Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell's tape resume is an absolute eyesore. He had the worst game of his life in one of the biggest games of his career in front of the entire college football world. He might curse Ja'Marr Chase's name to this very day. It was one horrible day in a career made up of a lot of great performances.
What his final college game did do is expose some of Terrell's weaknesses and called into question whether he'd come off the board in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. That falls right in line with where Bovada has his over/under draft position. Betting on the Clemson CB to go in the first round or in the subsequent rounds each yields odds of -120, signaling that the sportsbook isn't leaning strongly in either direction.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Terrell is a former five-star recruit who played a bit as a true freshman before emerging as a full-time starter for the Tigers over the last two seasons. He was named to the third-team All-ACC team as a sophomore on the National Championship-winning Clemson team in 2018 and was a first-team all-ACC selection last season.
Terrell is a press-man corner who is seasoned when it comes to going up against some of the most talented wide receivers in the country. We'll see if he can handle bigger-bodied veteran receivers at the NFL level, but he has all the tools to be a high-floor, low-ceiling starting option for years to come.
Which teams could be interested?
Let's take a look at a few teams that need to add a corner and could take one late in the first round or early in the second round.
Green Bay Packers (No. 30 overall)
I, and the oddsmakers, believe the Packers will take an offensive player with their first-round pick. However, if Green Bay is thinking long term here, Terrell is a player Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine could covet as a future tag-team partner with Jaire Alexander. Kevin King is solid but oft-injured, and Josh Jackson still has a lot to prove, so adding Terrell to the mix could provide a boost in 2020 with eyes on potentially being King's replacement in 2021.
San Francisco 49ers (No. 31 overall)
This is where I have Terrell going in my latest mock draft. Here are my thoughts on the fit:
The 49ers do need to think about Richard Sherman's replacement eventually, but more immediately, they need to shore up coverage on the opposite side. Terrell doesn't have to step into a huge role immediately, which could be a big plus. He projects as a boundary corner with tackling issues, but he'll excel in man coverage.
Kansas City Chiefs (No. 32 overall)
SI's Kevin Hanson has Terrell landing here in his latest five-round mock draft. The Chiefs could go several ways with this pick (RB, IOL, CB, etc.), but K.C. is thin at corner and needs to address that area sooner rather than later, both in quality and quantity. Terrell would be a nice complement to Charvarius Ward and would get a chance to redeem himself on a big stage in January.
Detroit Lions (No. 35 overall)
If the Lions trade out of the third overall pick and Ohio State's Jeff Okudah doesn't fall to whatever pick they end up with, the Lions must address the cornerback position here. Terrell could start immediately opposite Desmond Trufant and give Detroit a fairly solid group of starting corners despite trading Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.
Carolina Panthers (No. 38 overall)
Carolina's secondary has been depleted this offseason with the losses of corners James Bradberry, Ross Cockrell, and Javien Elliott. If a player of Terrell's caliber falls to them here, they'd be hard-pressed to pass. The young corner gives new head coach Matt Rhule another defensive piece to build around as that side of the ball undergoes a nearly-complete rebuild. This is as far as I can see Terrell falling.
Against The Odds
I expect more corners to go in Round 1 than many draft experts believe. I have six coming off the board in the Top 32, including Terrell. There are plenty of corner-needy teams with first-round picks (some, like the Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, have multiple picks). As more corners get drafted, more teams will get antsy. I expect someone to make Terrell the ninth Clemson cornerback drafted in the last decade.
The Play: UNDER pick 32.5 (-120)
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