Could Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner be the best defensive prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft? Though he has competition, it’s not brash to say that Turner has one of the highest ceilings in the 2024 class, regardless of position. In time, he could be a game-wrecking force.
Dallas Turner’s Draft Profile and Measurements
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 252
- Position: EDGE
- School: Alabama
- Current Year: Junior
In some ways, the NFL is incredibly complicated. But sometimes things are simple. If you were a consensus five-star recruit and produced at a high level in college, there is very little stopping you from being a first-round pick.
Turner was a consensus five-star recruit. He was the top EDGE in the country for 247Sports and Rivals. He was a top-20 recruit on each of the big three national sites and a top-five player in the state of Florida.
He came out of the gates at Alabama incredibly hot, posting 8.5 sacks and 10 total tackles for loss as a freshman. That stat line earned him Freshman All-American honors from 247Sports and FWAA, and he was also a freshman coach’s pick within the conference.
The 2022 season brought a dip in production for Turner, but his high-end traits were still very noticeable opposite future No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson Jr.
Then, in 2023, Turner helped fill the void left by Anderson’s departure, becoming a consistent disruptive presence.
A newly anointed team captain, Turner logged 10 sacks, 14.5 total tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles in a 2023 campaign that earned him First-Team All-American and All-SEC honors. Now, he’s ready to make his long-anticipated leap to the NFL and show the professional world he belongs.
Turner’s Scouting Report
- Sports a lean, flexible frame with elite proportional length and reach.
- Has an uncommon combination of hyper-elite explosiveness and bend capacity.
- With his brisk long-strider explosiveness, can teleport to the apex off the snap.
- Can leverage elite burst and length into devastating bouts of raw power capacity.
- Grew more consistent at leveraging base and attacking with power exertions in 2023.
- Improved play strength in 2023, which showed with his ability to fight through blocks.
- Has the searing lateral agility to work across face in the blink of an eye and invade gaps.
- Loose flexibility allows him to naturally acquire leverage and pad level on the attack.
- Has shown he can dip under the corner while sustaining long-strider acceleration.
- Can shrink his surface area and pinch incredibly tight angles as a finesse rusher.
- Improved at leveraging his base on speed rushes and using initial angles to bait tackles.
- Flashes high-end rush nuance with euro-steps, cross-chops, swipes, and manipulation.
- Alert, active run defender who knows how to establish half-man relationships.
- Has overwhelming pursuit range with his elite long-strider athleticism, reach, and motor.
- With speed, length, and fluidity, has the versatility to disguise rushes and play coverage.
- Despite exceptional length and wingspan, lacks high-end mass and frame density.
- Still improving at stacking secondary moves off of initial power exertions.
- Can improve precision with his off hand while attacking the torso with long-arms.
- Reaction speed on counters against sliding protection looks can be more consistent.
- Can be more consistent with pass-rush plan and execution on a down-to-down basis.
- Sometimes diverts upright when stunting laterally, which can sap at base load.
- Still has room to improve lower-body strength to prevent run game displacement.
- Leaner frame can impact sturdiness and balance against power in the run game.
- Sometimes flushes out of outside gaps too early, opening outside running lanes.
- Is most natural out of two-point stances, which may limit even-front appeal.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
Turner grades out as a borderline top-10 and blue-chip prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, and he’s the top EDGE prospect on my board. A young, productive player with an all-encompassing physical profile and a steep upward track, there isn’t much preventing Turner from being an early first-round pick.
Turner came into the 2023 spring period in the 240-pound range, but he played the 2023 campaign at a listed 252 pounds, and his play strength looked visibly improved. Not only that, but Turner retained his freakish explosiveness, speed, and bend. And in little moments, we got to see what his ceiling could look like.
Even with hand-usage improvements, Turner can still strive for more consistency, both with his pass-rushing plan and overall hand precision. But Turner has one of the most complete physical pallets of any EDGE over the past five years, and it yields astronomical upside.
With his blistering speed and gravity-defying bend, Turner can eviscerate tackles at the apex, and his finesse element also enables him to rush from alignment-versatile looks, stunt freely, and stress blocking angles across the front. But with his elite length, Turner also boasts a menacing power component.
With his hyperactive lateral twitch and fluidity, Turner can widen tackles before exploding into the torso with ruthless long-arms and bull-rushes. To that end, he’s shown he can scare tackles into flashing their hands with feigned power rushes and then capitalize with swipes and rips. And in pursuit, he’s an albatross with his closing speed and motor.
Turner may need a slight acclimation period as he continues to refine his execution and build up his lower body. But in the hands of a creative defensive coordinator, he can be an indiscriminate force of destruction amongst the front seven and a true schematic catalyst.
Turner has the elite tools of a speed, finesse, and power rusher all in one. And if he can fully grow into that profile and weaponize it to the max, he has Pro Bowl and All-Pro potential as a stand-up EDGE.
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