DJ Turner's Fit with the Bengals
DJ Turner II is a perfect fit for the Bengals and Lou Anarumo’s defense. He has excellent speed and fluid hips which allows him to transition efficiently and recover if he gets beaten over the top. His patience at the line of scrimmage in man coverage is very advanced for being a college player. Turner plays with his shoulders squared to his receivers and rarely bites on releases. Turner is a smart, instinctual player that consistently wins the leverage battle, uses the sideline to his advantage, and has a very fast trigger. He plays fast, not just because he ran the fastest 40 at the combine this year, but because he is reactive and does a good job feeling out offensive concepts.
Lou Anarumo’s defense consists of a lot of man coverage and cover-2. In cover-2, corners are asked to crack replace, disengage from blocks, and be physical at the line of scrimmage. These are aspects of Turner’s game that I worry about. The friendly part of Anarumo’s defense is that a lot of times the corners just have to hold on and wait for help or vice-tackle, but Turner is going to need to get more confident with making tackles in space. A lot of times he lunges trying to bring the ball carrier down, rather than being under control and having his feet under him. Turner is extremely fluid in man coverage; however, he gives up separation to receivers when they are physical at the top of their routes. While Turner is fast and instinctual, he will need to get stronger and tougher to be an elite corner in Anarumo’s defense.
Turner’s ball skills are also questionable, he struggles playing through the hands and does not aggressively make plays on the ball. His hands are also suspect when he has a chance to get interceptions and pressing at the line of scrimmage.
Turner’s athleticism, burst, effort, patience, and football IQ makes me believe that he can be a potential pro-bowl man coverage corner in the NFL. Going up against Ja’Marr Chase every day in practice, Turner has no choice but to get stronger and tougher. Competition breeds success for those who truly want it, and I believe Turner is only going to get better with the more reps he gets against elite receivers like Chase and Tee Higgins. In today’s NFL, if you can’t tackle you will be a target for opposing offenses. Anarumo will engrain physicality and toughness into Turner’s system; and if he responds well to that task he is going to be a special player for Cincinnati.
Movement Ability (Hips + Feet): 12.5/14
Speed + Control: 11/12
Ball Skills: 8.5/12
Physicality + Aggression: 7.75/10
Instincts + Intelligence: 7.25/8
Poise + Confidence: 6.75/8
Pursuit + Competitiveness: 5/6
Length + Hand Usage: 4.25/6
Final Rating: 81
Pro Comparison: Donte Jackson
Draft Projection: Early Second Round
Draft Grade: Late First - Early Second Round