After turning in an outstanding second season highlighted by an All-Pro nod, Terrell has established himself amongst the top players in the NFL at his position. Still, according to Sports Illustrated, Terrell is Atlanta's most underrated player.
Some of the names on this list will seem more obvious, given that our definition of underrated can be a shifting one. Maybe it’s a player we know about, but have yet to fully appreciate. I still can’t get over this stat on Terrell from PFF last year: Over a four-game stretch, he gave up one or fewer receptions and fewer than 10 total receiving yards. In addition to 81 tackles and a sack, Terrell gave up a 50% completion rate over 86 targets. It appears the word is out: Don’t throw at the Falcons’ No. 1 cornerback if you don’t have to. - Analyst Conor Orr
Terrell being labeled "underrated" is more of a reflection on the current state of the Falcons organization than his on-field performance. Few, if any, cornerbacks of Terrell's caliber fall into the category of being under the radar, but due to Atlanta largely remaining out of the league's spotlight, most don't recognize the shutdown corner he's grown into.
This offseason, the Falcons provided Terrell with additional help on the other side of the field, bringing in veteran cornerback Casey Hayward. Though the two are still getting to know each other, Hayward is extremely high on his counterpart's talent.
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“Besides me being in Green Bay, I don’t think I’ve ever had a running mate on the other side as talented as A.J.," Hayward stated. "When I was with the Chargers, we had Jason Verrett, and he was probably one of the most talented guys I’ve ever been around.
"I’ve played with a lot of pretty good guys, but not as talented as A.J. is. The guy is super talented.”
Super talented? Check.
First-round pick? Check.
Terrell, 23, is one of the NFL's brightest young stars, and it seems as if the rest of the league is starting to figure out just that.