With the 2024 NFL Draft deadline for underclassmen to declare come and gone we now have a much better idea of what this year’s draft class will look like. And because of that, we have a better idea where Alabama star Dallas Turner will be drafted.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his first NFL mock draft this week, and he has Turner going No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons.
Fellow ESPN NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller believes firmly that Turner is the best defensive player in the class, a class that might be a little light on elite defensive talent from top to bottom.
“Turner is the best. He’s a little bit undersized, right around 245 pounds,” Miller said. “Think Josh Allen with the Jacksonville Jaguars, that’s the type of pass-rusher he can be. Play him in space, play him off the edge. Better against the run than a lot of people assume because of the size. But he will instantly give Atlanta that Tier 1 pass-rush prospect that they really need.”
Turner was selected as an Alabama team captain during his final season in school in 2023. He was also a consensus first-team All-American, earning those honors from the AFCA, the Associated Press, the FWAA and The Sporting News.
He was also named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
Turner racked up the stats on the pass rush, a one-man wrecking crew who helped make up for the loss of Will Anderson from the 2022 squad. This season he logged 53 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 11.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pass defended.
“He is my top-rated defensive player, just inside the top 10,” Miller said. “This is not a draft class heavy on blue-chip defensive talent. It is a draft class very heavy on defensive talent from picks 10-32 in the first round. I think we’ll see that play out in Mel’s mock here.”
In his career, Turner logged 120 tackles, 33.5 tackles for a loss, 23.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass defended.
Prior to enrolling at Alabama, Dallas Turner was a five-star prospect and the No. 9 overall recruit in the nation in the 2021 recruiting class, according to the On3 Industry Rankings.
He also checked in as the No. 2 EDGE defender in the class and the No. 3 overall player from the state of Florida, hailing from Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas.