DJ Turner NFL Draft Scouting Report
CB, Michigan Wolverines
DJ Turner is the top cornerback on the Michigan Wolverines’ defense. Before his collegiate career began, he was ranked as a three to 4-star high school recruit. He helped lead his defense and team to the 2017 state championship and Turner was named the Defensive Player of the Game. After participating in the finals of the Nike Opening, Turner was named one of the 20 most athletic recruits. To begin his career at Michigan, he spent time as a special teamer during his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior in 2021, he began to earn more playing time on defense and starts. That rolled into the 2022 season, where he became the unquestioned starting outside cornerback.
Turner is a gifted and explosive athlete at the cornerback position. In coverage, Turner is an irritant for opposing wide receivers. He combines elite deep speed, oily hips, and quick-and-light feet to mirror and match his assignment. I love the patience and instincts he plays with, especially in man-to-man coverage. Turner has shown the ability to run with nearly every wide receiver he has faced this season. One of the best terms to describe his game is “sticky.” On tape, he is routinely spotted in the hip pocket of opposing receivers. The ability to blanket talented receivers and remain in phase on most reps cannot be undervalued. An ultimate competitor, Turner plays the ball and the receiver’s hands to force pass breakups.
Don’t forget, he is experienced as a zone corner as well. He uses proper drops based on the zone coverage responsibilities. His football IQ is evident as he squeezes routes to eliminate options for the quarterback before making a play on anything threatening his zone. He does a nice job baiting quarterbacks into the throws he wants near his assigned zone. The athleticism and burst to close and drive on routes are impressive. Turner is a willing participant in the run game and tackles well for a cornerback. He does not appear to hesitate or make those back-breaking “business decisions” that hurt his team.
Turner does not have the longest arms and is not the tallest cornerback. Bigger receivers do pose challenges for Turner to play through their body to break up the pass attempt. He is susceptible to being posted up by these bigger-bodied wideouts. His lack of arm length shows up on some contested-catch instances. Turner tackles well enough as a cornerback but he lacks striking power. I do envision Turner being able to consistently knock ball carriers backward when engaging. He has to defeat run and stalk blocks with more quickness than power. He should not be expected to stack and shed blocks with physicality at his size.
In all, an NFL team will be receiving one of the better cover corners in the 2023 draft class. Turner’s blend of athleticism, competitiveness, instincts, and coverage flexibility gives him a high floor and ceiling heading into the NFL. Turner looks his best in tight man-to-man coverage. This is where his quiet footwork and smooth transitions are an advantage. Teams that need a young cornerback that can step into the CB2 spot as a rookie will be happy with Turner.
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Coverage versatility
- Technically refined
- Superb athleticism
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Height, weight, and length
- Low interceptions/ball production
- Play strength
Size (NFL Combine):
Height: 5′ 11”
Weight: 178 lbs
Arm Length: 30 3/4”
Hand Size: 9 5/8”
Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):
40-yard Dash: 4.26s
Vertical Jump: 38.5”
Broad Jump: 10′ 11”
Bench Reps: TBD
Ideal Role: Outside cornerback
Scheme Fit: Multiple coverages, man and zone mixture
TDN Consensus Grade: 82.00/100 (Second-Round Value)
- Parson Grade: 82.00/100
Written By: Damian Parson
Exposures: Ohio State (2022), Penn State (2022), Purdue (2022), Maryland (2022)
DJ Turner NFL Draft Scouting Report. Add him to your big board here.