What are the Vikings getting in edge rusher Dallas Turner? ‘A game wrecker’

Now that they’re teammates with the Vikings, edge rusher Dallas Turner joked that he wasn’t always so fond of quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Not after Alabama lost a heartbreaker to Michigan a few months ago in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff.

Turner couldn’t stomach the thought of seeing the highlight reel on social media.

“That was probably the first time I cried in a little minute,” Turner said with a laugh. “I unfollowed him on Instagram.”

Asked for his assessment on Turner heading into that particular game, McCarthy noted his new teammate was a point of emphasis in the game plan. “A game wrecker,” he said. “Somebody that could affect the game at all times.”

That’s exactly what the Vikings are hoping Turner can be after stealing him with the No. 17 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. After having to wait to hear his name called on Thursday night, Turner admitted he did not expect to fall so far down the board.

It’s safe to say the Vikings weren’t expecting that to happen, either. As the run of offensive players continued throughout the first round, however, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made the decision to be aggressive, trading a haul of draft picks to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the chance to select Turner.

“I’m happy to be a Viking,” Turner said. “When I got that phone call, seeing where it was from, I immediately dropped my head because I knew I was going to a good organization.”

What is he most looking forward to as he prepares to work with defensive coordinator Brian Flores?

“The sacks,” Turner said. “Just how he frees his pass rushers up to make a lot of plays and stuff like that.”

There should be an opportunity for Turner to make a name for himself after the Vikings lost star edge rusher Danielle Hunter in free agency. That might also explain why the Vikings hosted Turner on a Top 30 visit ahead of this week’s draft. They were clearly interested in his services.

“He told me before he left he felt comfortable here and that he could really continue to ascend as a player,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said. “He’s got some lofty goals for himself.”

What are they?

“Just being the best teammate possible,” Turner said. “Just being a dude that my teammates can trust.”

Though he likely has some numbers he’d also like to reach along the way, Turner opted to remain humble in the early stages of his career. As for the minor beef on Instagram a few months ago, Turner confirmed that he has since re-followed McCarthy.

“That’s my brother now,” Turner said with a smile. “That’s my ride or die.”

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