Houston Texans Draft: A.J. Terrell must be in serious consideration at 40th overall

A.J. Terrell #8 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
A.J. Terrell #8 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans draft needs to add defense during the 2020 NFL Draft, so maybe the secondary is where the focus will be in the second round.

This is the case for the Houston Texans draft in 2020, and that is there are a number of areas where the team could work on when it comes their turn to pick with the 40th overall pick. That means even if they go defense, there are a number of players Bill O’Brien and the Texans could be looking at.

We all know the Teams draft could include them picking an edge rusher, but what if they decide to work on their secondary and draft a cornerback or safety?

If they decide to select a cornerback that wouldn’t be an issue, and if you don’t believe this, go re-watch the defensive performance in the Divisional Round game against the Kansas City Chiefs from the second quarter on.

Enough of the past — the Texans draft is about moving forward — and that means a second-round graded player Houston could be interested in is A.J. Terrell of Clemson. The Texans currently have Lonnie Johnson Jr., Vernon Hargreaves, Bradley Roby, and Gareon Conley as the top cornerbacks on the roster.

There are others on the roster such as Keion Crossen, Phillip Gaines, Anthony Chesley and Cornell Armstrong, but the top four players mentioned are the ones to know. Now as for adding Terrell of Clemson via the draft, he would make the Texans secondary younger, but also better, which is a need for this team in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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Terrell is 6-1, 195 pounds and he gained accolades at the collegiate level by being a third-team All-ACC selection in ’18 and a first-team All-ACC selection in ’19. Speaking of the ’19 season, he finished with 39 tackles, nine passes defensed, and he had two interceptions. In ’18, he had 10 passes defensed and three interceptions. Those are some nice numbers, but how does that all transition to the NFL?

Dane Brugler of The Athletic in “The Beast” Draft Preview wrote he believes Terrell could battle for starting reps as a rookie, but he’s not the only one high on Terrell.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com also grades Terrell highly as he believes in his draft preview that the Clemson cornerback “will be a starter within the first two seasons.”

The Draft Network’s Joe Marino compares Terrell to Dre Kirkpatrick, as he wrote the following about Terrell:

"“Possessing a loaded toolbox to excel in man coverage, Terrell is long, rangy and fluid with good eye discipline to bait throws. He also finds considerable success in soft press coverage and he is extremely sticky crowding routes in quick game.”"

The Texans need players in the secondary who can put fear in the opposing quarterback, and Terrell could be that guy. Terrell does have the ability to break up passes and force fumbles, even against tough competition.

When Clemson faced Alabama in the National Championship Game, watch Terrell force a fumble in one-on-one coverage. In that same game, Terrell also intercepted Tua Tagovailoa for a 44-yard touchdown.

Watching highlights of Terrell, he is more than worth a second-round selection, and he would make the secondary of the Texans interesting and more competitive as the jury is still out on the current depth chart of the cornerbacks.

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The Texans draft really needs to focus on defense with the 40th overall pick — unless there is a player who can’t be passed on — and working on the cornerbacks isn’t such a bad idea, especially if Terrell is on the draft board at this point of the second round.