2017 NFL Draft Profile: Aaron Terry
Football players are just dumb jocks, or so they say. However, that’s not the case for two-time All-American Aaron Terry.
Terry played for Division II powerhouse California University of Pennsylvania and garnered multiple impressive national and regional awards. All the while, Terry found his way onto the dean’s list multiple times and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in May.
If that’s not remarkable enough, Terry intends to pursue a master’s in business as he pursues an NFL career. Later on, Terry sees himself working for Homeland Security.
Terry was an electric punt returner and ball-hawking defensive back, and he expects to bring those traits with him to the NFL.
The 5-foot-11-inch standout can play anywhere in the defensive backfield, and his versatility gives him a shot at making an NFL roster.
“I’m able to play more than one position on the field,” Terry said. “I’m very good at special teams as well. You’re able to do more things with me.”
His encounters at Cal are some that he values emphatically.
“My experience has just been one of a kind,” Terry said. “It’s definitely not something that I would trade in for any other school.”
“In high school, I never won a championship and then I get to Cal and I win a championship and I’m on the winning team. It was a great atmosphere. I love the team and I would never trade it in.”
Terry may want to thank his parents for his athletic ability. His mother was an all-state pitcher in high school and his father was a “very well-known” basketball player in Virginia.
While on the field, Terry amassed 13 interceptions and 175 total tackles. The three-time all-conference player also added one punt return for a touchdown in his career.
Terry averaged 13.2 yards per return as a punt returner and he credits his high football IQ to his success.
“The most important thing about punt return is being smart back there and not being scared,” Terry said. “I’m very smart and I understand what decisions to make and what not to make.”
Terry is working on every little thing to gain an edge. He is training in Pittsburgh while finishing his degree at Cal. Terry does weight training and combine drills and is never content with his talent level.
“You’re never as good as you want to be and I’m never satisfied,” Terry said. “I’m just making sure I perfect my craft. There’s always more room for improvement and I’m really a strong believer in that.”
Terry credits his eyes and instincts to his incredible play in zone coverage. Those smarts are helping him become a darkhorse candidate to become a great player at the next level.
Those same smarts will propel Terry to a successful career. Whether it be in football or criminal justice, Aaron Terry has the work ethic and intelligence to make a splash in whatever he does.
Aaron Terry Scouting Report
Terry has adequate size for an NFL defensive back at a touch under 6 feet and 200 pounds. He is usually in good position pre-snap, but sometimes gives a lot of cushion to receivers. That is something that can be fixed easily for the next level.
He is above average in man-to-man coverage, but is a great zone defender. The main quality that makes his zone coverage great is his ability to recognize where the receivers are and where they will be. He gets himself in the right position to make the play.
On broken plays, Terry shows good discipline by staying with his man or shutting down his zone. This gives the pass rushers more time to make a play.
As with many players at the Division II level, Terry will be questioned on whether he can cover NFL-level talent if asked to play man-to-man.
Like his teammate, Jordan Bowman, Terry offers the ability to play special teams and is a good punt returner. He has good hands and uses his excellent vision to find holes in the return game and breaks big plays. He has a career punt return average of 13.2 yards per return.
You can view Aaron Terry’s Highlights here.
You can listen to Tim Miller interview Aaron Terry in its entirety below.