Atlanta Falcons fanbase needs to welcome A.J. Terrell, not berate him


It has become a yearly tradition for some Atlanta Falcons fans to judge draft picks before they have even played a game in the NFL.

It happens every year and it happened again last week with the Falcons first-round pick A.J Terrell.

This isn’t just an issue with the Atlanta Falcons and their fans, it’s a league-wide issue. So many young guys get picked and then immediately berated by fans who aren’t happy about selecting him. “This guy sucks”, “Why pick that idiot”, “We don’t need that guy”. These are all foolish notions aimed at young men who haven’t even stepped foot in an NFL game before.

The Atlanta Falcons first-round draft pick, A.J Terrell, was one of the many guys who did not receive a positive welcome, but why? Many people seemed to have an issue with drafting him because of one bad game in his entire collegiate career.

He did not perform well in the loss to LSU in the 2020 National Championship game. I don’t disagree that he did not perform well, but for some reason, everyone only wants to look at that game, and not the other 43 that he played in.

Let’s not forget, Terrell had to pass defend against Joe Burrow, the guy who many consider having had the greatest overall season in the history of college football. If anything, that game should serve as motivation for Terrell, who will most likely go over the tape of that game with the Atlanta Falcons defensive coaches and will learn and improve from it.

Outside of that game, Terrell played like a star for the majority of his career, being named to the 2019 First-Team All-ACC. Let’s also not forget his pick-six that came against the Alabama Crimson Tide’s star quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa that helped blow that game wide-open for the Tigers.

Terrell has the talent to be a star in this league, there’s no question about that. Yes, he had a bad game against LSU and yes, he can be a bit handsy coming off the ball, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a top corner in the league. Unlike Robert Alford, Terrell might actually learn to not rely on his hands so much and to use his eyes more.

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Terrell deserved a warm welcome from this fanbase, but, he instead received a mixed response that was undeserving of a young man who hasn’t even gotten the chance to prove himself as an NFL player yet. If you want to criticize a player once he has shown what he can do on the field, then that’s perfectly fine because every single one of us does that. The point that I am making is that it is unfair to criticize someone like Terrell who hasn’t been given that chance yet.