2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Payton Turner

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Payton Turner suffered a knee injury that kept him off the field as a high school senior which limited his recruiting options. While there was interest, the only major school to offer him a scholarship was Houston. He came to Houston at around 215 pounds before he reached 290 early in his career and then trimmed down to around 270 by the end of his career. The Cougars played him all across the defensive line, even as a standup outside linebacker at times. At the next level, Turner is best suited to play 4-3 defensive end but also has the length needed to serve as a 5-technique in a 3-4 front. The best components of Turner’s game are his length, physicality, power, hand combatting skills, and motor. Those traits give him appeal as a pass rusher and run defender. With that said, he needs to clean up his stance, release from his stance, pad level, processing skills, and develop more rush variety. Turner is a versatile defender that has the ability to develop into a meaningful starter. With that said, development is needed and he may not contribute much right away early in his career. 

Ideal Role: 4-3 base end or 3-4 5-technique that gets chances to rush on the interior on long and late downs.

Scheme Fit: Any.

Written by: Joe Marino 

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Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.

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