Clemson football: Falcons gamble on A.J. Terrell will pay off


Former Clemson football corner A.J. Terrell was selected by his hometown Atlanta Falcons in the middle of the first round in last week’s NFL draft.

To say anyone outside of the Clemson football family was happy with that pick, especially in Atlanta would be a severe understatement. Did the Falcons take a chance on A.J.? Of course, that did. Will it pay off for them? There is no doubt that it will.

Every NFL pick is a crapshoot. No one knows if a player is going to blossom into the player that they hope to. However, the Clemson football family has watched Terrell blossom from an underweight freshman into one of the best corners in college football.

That is a tribute to his work ethic and his willingness to take coaching and apply it on the field. No one will work harder for the Atlanta Falcons or their new defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris. Who, by the way, will also be A.J.’s position coach.

All anyone wants to talk about is his performance in the national title game against LSU. Coming into that game, he had not given up more than 60 yards in a game and he had an off night, but he was not terrible.

Matter of fact, it took perfect routes and perfect throws (as well as a few uncalled offensive pass interferences) in order to beat him. Something that LSU did to a lot of teams in 2019. To use that one game and ignore the other three years of film, is ridiculous.

If you are going to gamble on players and take them higher than most believe you should, at least you gambled on a kid that has championship pedigree and comes from a winning culture, something the Atlanta Falcons need desperately in their locker room.

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If they give this kid a chance, they will love what he can do and who he is. Not all gambles pay off, but this one will, and the Clemson football family will be rooting for A.J. Terrell along the way.