Dabo Swinney Compares Falcons 1st Round Draft Pick to Deshaun Watson

AJ Terrell

Getty A.J. Terrell #8 of the Clemson Tigers.

And just like that, the Atlanta Falcons have selected their first-round pick at No.16, A.J. Terrell out of Clemson University in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Falcons, unfortunately, didn’t live up to the hype of being ‘extremely aggressive’ in the first round but well-respected CFB coach Dabo Swinney certainly has high hopes for the Falcons new cornerback.

Coach Swinney saw similarities in Terrell and former Clemson star quarterback Deshaun Watson early on:

“A.J. Terrell is the Deshaun Watson of this group, and what I mean by that is he’s a Deshaun Watson at a different position,” Swinney said. “The reason I say that — and this is what I’ve told everybody — is his consistency. He’s handled himself like a pro since the day he got here as far as his maturity, his love of preparation, his mindset, and the type of teammate he is. He’s got unique intangibles to go along with a rare skillset for his position.”

Swinney knows football more then football even knows football, so he’s a reliable guy when it comes to analysis.

Hard to forget that Watson was led the team to a CFP championship game appearance in 2015 and a national championship win in 2016.

Terrell as Tiger

Terrell looked promising at the NFL combine where the Falcons met with him. The 6’1, 195-pound corner with 31 ¼ inch arms, ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine to go along with a 34.5 vertical jump. In three seasons at Clemson, he totaled 103 tackles, three and a half tackles for loss, and six interceptions.

Terrell finished his last season as a Tiger a first-team all-conference player for the FBS runners-up, starting all 15 games and recording 37 stops, two interceptions, and six pass breakups.

Terrell is originally from the Atlanta area where he attended Westlake High School, which is just about 15 miles from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It will be a warm welcome home party on Sundays for Terrell.

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The 2020 National Championship Game. . .

The last time we saw Terrell in a game, it didn’t go as planned. He got his world rocked as he struggled to stop LSU receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson from making plays in the 2020 national championship game.

This was the first detail Terrell addressed when talking to the media after the first round of the NFL draft.

Terrell made it clear that horrendous loss is in the past and so is the player he was in that game.

Terrell considers himself coachable and his No. 1 goal entering the NFL is consistency.
Atlanta currently has four guys at the cornerback position, Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, and Jordan Miller. Oliver, Sheffield, and Miller are all under 23-years-old. Each of these players has a promising future but what they are lacking is consistency.  So it’s a breath of fresh air to hear that the rookie CB really plans to hone in on being consistent.

READ NEXT: Falcons Select Former Clemson Star in 1st Round


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