NFL, Read

NFL Draft Profile: DJ Turner

School: Michigan

Position: CB

Year: Redshirt Junior

The Good: DJ Turner is a good football player who ran a 4.26s 40 at the Combine. I could stop there and you might want to draft him. But I’m not going to stop there, because I love DJ Turner’s game. It’s true that Turner is as fast as it gets on a football field, and he’s a jitterbug in coverage who hangs in the hip pockets of receivers. He has such quick feet and body action, and he is one explosive dude too. I usually leave specific plays to my ‘Plays That Matter’ links at the end of profiles, but Turner’s interception against Maryland was one of the best displays of ball skills I’ve ever seen. Turner is also an incredibly smart player in the live action of the game, and he has the mentality of a hyena. He throws a good jam at the line of scrimmage and is plenty good enough as a tackler.

The Bad: This is probably where I should mention that DJ Turner is 5’11”, 178lbs with 30.75” arms. He’s on the smaller side, so even if everything goes right, he just can’t be a Darrelle Revis mold of cornerback. His weight actually doesn’t concern me much, outside of the occasional boxout along the sidelines by bigger WRs. What concerns me more is his lack of length; his arms are noticeably small when he reaches to break up passes that he can’t. Turner is an aggressive player – which is mostly good – but the drawbacks are that he can bail in zone coverage too early and flip his hips too early in man coverage. Opening up early on WR’s releases is something that gives Turner recurring trouble on tape – he can get better with that though. All in all, he’s a willing tackler but I’d say he’s a mediocre run defender.

The Bottom Line: I get the urge to pigeonhole DJ Turner as a slot cornerback. Maybe that is where he ends up eventually, which wouldn’t even be all that bad given that slot CBs have become commodities in the current NFL. But I hope the league gives him his fair shot on the outside. Honestly, not only do I genuinely believe he can hang there, I think he’s actually better there. In any outcome, I think Turner is going to have a long career and be a beloved member of whatever defense he’s on.

Grade: Mid First Round

Pro Comp: Adoree Jackson

Games Watched:

  • Penn State 2021
  • Maryland 2022
  • Penn State 2022
  • Ohio State 2022
  • TCU 2022

Plays That Matter [LINK]


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