Many seemed shocked. Some even displayed anger and some laughed. The reaction across social media seemed mixed when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced A.J. Terrell as the 16th selection in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Atlanta Falcons.
Jeffrey Okudah and C.J. Henderson went in the top-10. Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown were both snatched in the first 15 selections. All four players were players that would have made sense for the Falcons should they have been available at No. 16 or if the Falcons had been able to swing the trades they reportedly attempted.
Temptation had to have made its way to Falcons fans. Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb stared down the Falcons for ten minutes. The Falcons bucked the tempting best player available to sell t-shirts and jerseys and made the move to improve the roster.
The Falcons’ selection of Terrell felt like the typical ‘stick to your board’ selection. While many used words like reach and overdraft, something I myself said in my mock draft video this week, the Falcons felt Terrell had the tools they want in an outside cornerback.
Terrell is 6’1. He’s long and he’s from the Atlanta area having played his high school football at Westlake High School.
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Yes, Terrell may have been available a few picks later and maybe even in the second round, but maybe he would not have been.
The Falcons have made it clear that improving the secondary was a must with this pick as it borders desperate, but in a controlled and yet chaotic way.
It may not be the name next to the number that everyone expected, though I felt he would be the Falcons’ first round pick after a trade down to No. 23, selecting Terrell receives a grade of B plus from me.
Terrell is capable enough to step right in to play right away. He allows Kendall Sheffield to slide back into the nickel position. The Falcons filled one of their three obvious open starting slots. That’s a win in the early rounds of the draft.
This pick could likely end up being more than just hole plug. 2020 College Football Playoff Championship Game aside, Terrell has the upside to turn into a player well worth the 16th pick people have already begun to question.