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2020 NFL mock draft: A.J. Terrell can help the Chiefs get back to the Super Bowl

The Clemson cornerback is the pick for Kansas City in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Riding the arm of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs broke a 50-year Super Bowl drought. But if the team wants to get back there, they have some holes on the roster to fill.

The Chiefs’ secondary needs an upgrade after Kendall Fuller departed in free agency. That is not the team’s only needs on defense. The Chiefs could use a linebacker because that group featuring Anthony Hitchens, Damien Wilson, and Ben Niemann is average.

It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Chiefs target a pass rusher to pair with Frank Clark.

In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Kent Swanson of Arrowhead Pride has some decisions to make.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

Swanson: Brett Veach has yet to make a first-round pick as the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs. I anticipate this streak will continue if he can find a trade partner for the first trade back in his tenure. If the Chiefs do stick, Terrell makes perfect sense for a team that needs cornerback help for 2020 and beyond.

Terrell fits defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s profile with the length, size, and willingness to tackle. The Clemson cornerback immediately becomes the most talented player in the room for a team that has not invested significant assets in the position the last few years. They’ve been able to survive, but it could catch up to them if they don’t address it soon.

Terrell wouldn’t have to start right away, but the quicker he could earn the trust of the coaching staff, the better. He’d be desperately needed for 2021 and beyond.

Analysis: Before the College Football Playoff National Championship, no one doubted Terrell was a first-round player. In that game against LSU, Terrell was beaten badly by sophomore wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, a likely top-10 pick in 2021. That game shouldn’t cast a complete shadow over his ability.

Starting two years at Clemson, Terrell broke up 26 passes and had six interceptions. His ability to play the ball is obvious. Clemson often had Terrell playing press coverage, and that took advantage of his size and aggressive hand usage.

Top five remaining players:

  • 15. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
  • 22. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
  • 23. Austin Jackson, OT, USC
  • 26. Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
  • 27. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

That concludes the 14th annual SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. If you missed any of the picks, they can all be found here.

It’s true, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert slipped all the way out of the first round of this exercise. It’s also true that is highly unlikely to happen next week when the first round starts. But Herbert dropping out of Round 1 isn’t really about Herbert himself. It’s more about the unpredictability of the draft process. Things will happen next week that none of us expect. Some of those things will turn out to be good. Others will be awful and you’ll wonder how some general managers get their jobs.

That is the beauty of the draft. It’s a giant gamble based mostly on hope. It is inexact, and the unsuspected will happen.

Poll

What grade do you give the pick of Terrell by the Chiefs?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    A
    (177 votes)
  • 43%
    B
    (206 votes)
  • 13%
    C
    (62 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    F
    (17 votes)
470 votes total Vote Now