Minnesota Vikings select Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner with the 17th overall pick. Grade: A+

As much as I didn’t like the J.J. McCarthy pick at 10 (especially with the trade up), I can’t argue at all with Dallas Turner going to Minnesota after the Vikings traded up with the Jaguars. Vikings defensive coordinator now has Turner, Jonathan Greenard, and Andrew Van Ginkel in his edge palette, and that will be very bad news for opposing quarterbacks.  

Dallas Turner played for played for head coach Roger Harriott at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, helping his school to back-to-back Florida 7A State Championships and the High School National Championship in 2019. He was a consensus five-star prospect, and he chose the Crimson Tide over Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon, and any other major program you’d choose to mention.

Turner had nine sacks and 25 total pressures as a freshman in 2021, upping the ante to 37 total pressures in 2022. But 2023 was Turner’s real breakout season, as he exactly tied his count of 647 snaps from the previous season, but got 11 sacks and 55 total pressures this time around.

Turner is one of the most dynamic athletes in this draft, regardless of position. The question here is whether he’ll find the right NFL team to make the most of his attributes, and build on the things that still need work. If that’s the case, watch the heck out for this guy.


— Twitched-up, hyper-athletic ball of fury who moves off the snap with a killer first step and great acceleration to and through the pocket. And his spin move should be illegal.

— Has no problem flattening his rush path with the dip-and-rip and working under the tackle’s hands around the arc.

— Absurd quickness in open space; he can re-set from flat coverage to take the quarterback down at the boundary. He has the closing speed of a fast linebacker, and you, Mr. QB, are not safe running away from him.

— Short-area speed extends to stunts and gap games; Turner will cross a gap or two to work pressure inside.

— Not a power player per se, but the speed-to-power moves are just fine.


— Turner is so good at running around (and occasionally through) enemy blockers that he will need to expand his hand work to be similarly successful at the NFL level. He’ll get negated more than he should. Tight ends should not be able to woodshed him.

— Oversells to create pressure at times, which leads to some “cat on a freshly waxed kitchen floor” moments where he’ll whiff at a huge level. He’ll also bite hard on fakes and counters.

— Not much of a plan against double-teams.

— Could stand to deal better with power; right now, if you strike the first blow, you have a great chance of winning the rep.

— Not a run defender of note, though you don’t want to debit him too much for this and miss out on the blinding attributes.

Turner might be your EDGE1 if you need a preposterous athlete to embarrass opposing blockers with every possible speed attribute. If your preferences lie elsewhere, you may just have to deal with him beating your tackles over and over.

It’s vitally important that he be placed in a defense where his special skills are maximized, and the things he’s not really built to do don’t matter as much.

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire