Pro Football Focus believes Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell would be a good fit for the New York Giants defensive backfield.
With the NFL Draft inching closer, New York Giants fans, critics, and writers (sometimes those three overlap) continue to discuss who the team will take in the opening round. Will they use their No. 4 pick on a defensive playmaker like Isaiah Simmons or an impactful left tackle like Tristan Wirfs? Will they trade away that pick and move back to No. 5 or 6 overall?
The opening round entails a multitude of discussion points, there’s no doubt about it. But there are not nearly as many people conversing over the succeeding rounds, which are also crucial.
Luckily, Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus has you covered, and he’s chosen Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell as Big Blue’s “prospect fit” and someone who they could select with their No. 36 pick.
“The Giants selected the first cornerback off the board a season ago in Deandre Baker. His struggles as a rookie, along with the lack of high-level play from anyone else at the position, warrants another go in the 2020 NFL Draft,” Linsey writes. “While New York will likely have its pick of the tackles or a player like Isaiah Simmons at fourth overall, [A.J.] Terrell would be a strong second-round target if he makes it to them at pick 36. As we saw with Baker, it doesn’t always work out in Year 1, but it’s worth taking shots at good cornerback prospects early in the draft when the opportunity arises.”
In his junior year at Clemson, Terrell recorded 34 total tackles with a pair of picks and three passes defended. The 21-year-old’s efforts earned him first-team All-ACC honors.
The Giants aren’t going to just move on from Baker after one season, but the rookie struggles were no joke. Just one season after winning the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in college football, Baker allowed quarterbacks to complete 61.4% of their throws for 850 yards and six touchdowns when targeting him.
New York still needs a stud corner to replace Janoris Jenkins, so Terrell could be the guy. There’s still the possibility that the Giants could use their first-round pick in that area too. Some fans want Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah, who was a unanimous All-American this past year. He’s someone who could greatly bolster a Giants secondary that finished 28th in the league last season with 264.1 passing yards allowed per game.
Although, the Detroit Lions may swoop in and select Okudah with their No. 3 pick. Detroit’s defensive backfield was the worst in the league last year, having allowed 284.4 passing yards per game.