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A.J. Terrell reflects on 'surreal' moment of being drafted by Falcons 

When former Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell had his virtual pre-draft meeting with the Falcons, he had a feeling Atlanta could be his landing spot.

The conversation he had with general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn went so well he said he just had a "feeling" he would be a Falcon.


As the cornerbacks started coming off the board – Terrell was the third cornerback selected on Thursday night – Terrell started to get excited.

Terrell knew the Falcons were a cornerback-needy team and after the Raiders selected wide receiver Henry Ruggs III with the No. 12 overall pick, the reality he could be drafted by his hometown started to set in.

Four picks later, his phone rang and he was told he would be joining the Falcons.

"It was a surreal moment," Terrell said. "I had a great feeling it was coming. I'm just ready to get to work. It was one of the greatest feelings I've experienced other than having my son. I'm just ready to make an impact and ready to get to work."

Dimitroff said Terrell was a player they targeted early on in the draft process because of his speed, athleticism, body control and ball skills.

"I'm really encouraged and excited that we have a player at this position that has a well-rounded package to him," Dimitroff said. "With Dan and his staff, I really think we're going to get the most out of him."

Terrell, 21, attended Westlake High School in Atlanta, where he was the No. 6-ranked cornerback recruit in 2017, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. In three seasons at Clemson, Terrell amassed 101 tackles,13 passes defensed and six interceptions.

With the No. 16 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell.

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