Panthers Draft: 3 NFC South rival picks that cause concern

Dean Jones
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) A.J. Terrell
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) A.J. Terrell /
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A.J. Terrell, Panthers Draft
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) A.J. Terrell /

Panthers Draft: A.J. Terrell – CB

The Atlanta Falcons secondary was a mess last season. This played a leading role in another season with high expectations that ultimately failed to deliver.

They addressed this area of the field at the earliest opportunity by drafting Clemson product A.J. Terrell 16th overall in the first round. He has all the makings of a shutdown corner at the next level and with some coaching up the player could even reach Pro Bowl potential.

Terrell had two outstanding seasons to end his college career with the Tigers. He virtually shut down one side of the field in 2019 thanks to his superb turn of foot and fluidity covering down the field.

If the Falcons’ defense improves with Terrell’s arrival, which it should instantly, this will also hamper the Carolina Panthers’ chances of achieving victories against a divisional rival that is also expected to go through some growing pains in 2020.

Terrell excels in man coverage and has exceptional athleticism. He does need to polish his tackling technique, which lets him down on occasions. But the prospect seems like a perfect fit for Atlanta’s scheme and this will also prove highly beneficial during the early stages of his development.

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The Falcons were another team that focused heavily on the defense during the draft. This was hardly surprising given the potent offensive weapons at their disposal in what appears a closing window for veteran quarterback Matt Ryan.