In what looks to be a solid cornerback class, A.J. Terrell is one of the better ones. Terrell is a smooth athlete and physical tackler, but most know him from one of the most unfortunate games of his career. Let’s learn more about him.
Pros: Terrell is very good in press-man coverage. He has fluid hips to transition and the speed to play most receivers tightly.
He makes good reads in zone coverage and has the quickness to break and make a play on the ball.
Terrell can also play in the slot. He is a good tackler and isn’t afraid to go for the big hit. He can disengage from blocks to get involved in the run game.
Cons: Terrell had one really bad game. It happened to be his last game and it happened to be the National Championship so of course everyone saw it and it is fresh in their minds. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase teamed up to give Terrell a really long night.
This game needs to be considered in his evaluation, but it shouldn’t sour people completely on Terrell. We all know what Burrow is, and Chase will likely be a first-round pick in 2021. These guys are stars.
The game was an anomaly on Terrell’s film. It does however raise questions about Terrell’s ability to match up with receivers with top end speed. If he is beaten off of the line or in a break, he has trouble recovering. As physical as he is in the run game, he doesn’t get a good jam on the line in press coverage. Fixing this issue could help with the above problem.
Red Flags: None
NFL Comp: Kendall Fuller
Bengals Fit: Terrell is a versatile cornerback who can play both inside and out. Given the Bengals newly acquired depth at outside cornerback, his best fit may be in the slot, competing with Mackensie Alexander for a starting role.
Draftability: Terrell has a great chance to be the third corner to get drafted and therefore go in the first round. This is the draft, though, and anything can happen. If Terrell falls out of the first, the Bengals would have to take him with the 33rd pick, because the odds of him falling further than that are slim to none.
Summary: Terrell is a talented press cornerback who has had success both in the slot and at outside cornerback and will bring this versatility to the NFL team who selects him.