clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2024 NFL Draft Summer Spotlight: Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner

Is the hype for the talented pass rusher warranted?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 10 CFP National Championship Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A certain philosophy exists in the NFL by a seemingly growing number of teams that believes loading up on the skill positions is a must in the NFL Draft, and you “figure out the rest later.” No matter how strong the group is on the team, you continue the investment if the value matches up correctly.

Take the Philadelphia Eagles as an example. Their continued affinity for stacking up the defensive line has given them a borderline unfair crop of talent heading into the 2023 NFL season. Despite the Eagles’ strength on the defensive line, they made two high-priority draft selections on their front with the additions of Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.

The Buffalo Bills are a team in their own right that likes to platoon their defensive line. Prioritizing the defensive front has been a mainstay ever since general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott took over. A strong starting duo of Von Miller and Greg Rousseau shouldn’t satisfy the regime as building up the trenches should always be of importance. The loss of Miller proved to be a huge one as the pass-rush effectiveness had a ripple effect that badly hurt the team during the latter stages of the season.

In order to stack the room, you need to select the right dudes to get there. Let’s dive into one of the most recognized talents coming down the pipe from an SEC power.

The Alabama Crimson Tide aren’t the dynasty of the college football world they were several years ago. But they are still churning out NFL talent all over the field. After placing Will Anderson in the top three of the 2023 NFL Draft, they have another edge rusher tabbed first-round candidate in the 2024 class with returning true junior Dallas Turner.

Turner is certainly an intriguing talent who’s stacked impressive statistical seasons early in his career in the SEC. Let’s evaluate where Turner may find himself stacked as a talent with the 2023 college football season about a month away from its start.

Dallas Turner Scouting Report

Turner is a rising junior who’s looked the part as a true playmaker off the edge for the Crimson Tide. Beginning with his freshman year, Turner generated massive hype with 8.5 sacks his first season on campus. As a sophomore, Turner’s production regressed and the weaknesses were more consistently revealed. Turner doesn’t possess the ability to disrupt enough with speed-to-power as a rusher, but he’s also not bendy enough to be among the truly elite at his position. Turner is an excellent straight-line athlete who shows plenty of explosive traits and versatility. He needs to make a jump in 2023 to prove he’s a first-round player.


  • Athleticism is clearly existent as a straight-line player; seen on tape chasing down NFL-caliber backs downfield and running sideline-to-sideline
  • Great first step and get-off that flashes most when getting up field to beat pullers to the spot
  • Extremely high effort with an active motor who creates his impact plays as such
  • Sets the edge on outside zone as a run defender where he earns positioning with quick instincts and winning the angle early
  • Versatility to play off-ball linebacker, stand-up rusher, and hand in the dirt in an even front
  • Will be a useful tool as a drop player within simulated pressure looks at the next level due to twitchy athleticism


  • Could afford to be more violent with his swipes and knocking opposing linemen off their base
  • Pass rush plan has got to improve; extremely raw at this juncture and gets stood up by opposing linemen too consistently
  • Don’t see a player with one elite trait as a rusher, aside from speed
  • Flexibility and ankle flexion doesn’t stand out as a huge positive
  • Speed-to-power is lacking the power portion as tackles reset anchor easily more often than not
  • Gets washed as a run defender way too often to be a full time NFL player in an even front as it stands

Why Dallas Turner Fits the Bills

Turner is a hyped college player who may be getting ranked too high within way-too-early 2024 NFL mock drafts due to his early name recognition in the college world. But that doesn’t make him a bad (or at least not useful) player. Turner wins with effort and natural athleticism at this stage, with the tools to become a better pass rusher before he even leaves the college game. In the 2023 season, he needs to prove that he can threaten with power and be a potential every-down player to be an early draft pick at the next level.

The Bills need to keep getting faster on defense, and there’s nothing wrong with adding high-effort players. Turner has some Nolan Smith (2023 1st Round pick) to his game. There’s use for Turner in the NFL, but I need to see him improve as a run defender before he’s even in consideration for back of the first round territory. If the Bills find themselves looking at edge on Day 2 during the 2024 Draft, Turner might just be available.