Jamie_B Posted April 29 Report Share Posted April 29 From Dane Brugler..... BACKGROUND: JuanDrago “DJ” Turner II was drawn to football from an early age and was a standout for North Gwinnett in middle school, including an interception in the GFL Championship Game in eighth grade. Turner enrolled at North Gwinnett High School (teammates with WR Josh Downs), where he was a versatile defensive back, lining up primarily at nickel and safety. After posting three interceptions as a sophomore, he helped North Gwinnett to a 14-1 record and the 2017 6A state championship (highest level in Georgia) and was named the Defensive Player of the Game. Turner finished his junior season with 78 tackles (eight for loss) and two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), earning All-County, All-Region and All-State honors in 2017. Looking to play press-man cornerback instead of safety, he transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., for his senior season. Turner recorded 17 tackles (three for loss), one forced fumble and two interceptions in 2018, including a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. A three-star recruit, Turner was the No. 40 cornerback in the 2019 recruiting class and the No. 49 recruit in Florida. He picked up his first scholarship offer from Southern Miss as a sophomore and finished with three dozen offers. Turner’s final dance card was impressive, with offers from several notable programs like Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford and Tennessee. But he was smitten with Michigan after his visit to Ann Arbor because of the academics, and he wanted to be in a defense where he could play mostly press-man like he did at IMG Academy. Turner wasn’t one of the 16 four- or five-stars who signed with Jim Harbaugh in the 2019 recruiting class, but he proved to be one of the best defensive recruits from that class. He elected to skip his final season of eligibility to enter the 2023 NFL Draft STRENGTHS: Above-average athlete with plus speed and redirect skills … ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.26) and 20-yard split (2.32) at the combine … controls his gears to stay on top of routes … reacts quickly to mirror, drive and knock away throws on slants and crossers … active eyes to see receivers and the quarterback and anticipate where the ball will be thrown … solid ball skills when working downhill … physical by nature and bravely walks the fine line of making receivers uncomfortable mid-route … has worked hard to add/maintain weight to max out his frame … loves the grind and has been tutored by former NFL defensive back Ray Buchanan since seventh grade … smart and a grinder who tries to get better every day … solid ball production in two seasons as a starter (20 passes defended) … inside and outside experience. WEAKNESSES: Lean muscle tone with below-average arm length … muscled off the top of routes and can be put on skates by receivers … needs to lay off the downfield jabs … below-average ball skills down the field and inconsistent reading with his back turned … tends to panic as he tries to gain body position (penalized four times for pass interference in 2022) … quick to recover, but his inconsistent coverage balance will be more noticeable in the NFL … scrappy tackler, but gets himself in trouble when he waits for ball carriers and gives blockers a chance to reach him … battled a glute injury in high school, which followed him to Michigan and forced him to redshirt in 2019 … skill set should translate well to special teams, but wasn’t a regular teams player in college SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Michigan, Turner was a perimeter cornerback in defensive coordinator Jesse Minter’s man-heavy scheme, also seeing snaps as a nickel. After playing sparingly his first two seasons in Ann Arbor because of injury and the pandemic, he became a starter in 2021 and totaled 20 passes defended over the past two seasons (All-Big Ten both years). A twitchy and active athlete, Turner has above-average speed and transition quickness to match up with NFL receivers in man coverage. He plays a physical brand of football and loves to show off his feistiness, although it can be a detriment at times, leaving him off balance and out of position to make plays on the ball downfield. Overall, Turner’s limited length and play strength are amplified versus bigger targets, but he is smart, explosive and competitive and should continue to ascend in coverage. He doesn’t back down and shows the movement ability and toughness desired at nickel in the NFL. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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