Maize & BlueReview – DJ Turner breaks 4.26 40-yard dash at NFL Combine
Former Michigan native DJ Turner turned heads earlier this month after posting a 4.26 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. The defensive back wasn’t the biggest or most physical player in this year’s recruiting class, but the Michigan senior left no doubt as to who is the fastest player in the class.
Turner met with reporters Friday after Michigan held its annual pro day, and said he wasn’t surprised at all by his best time.
“I knew I was going to manage what I run,” Turner said.
Even with his incredibly fast time, Turner said he’s done better than before.
“I ran faster than before,” he said. “It basically has to do with what I’ve been managing. But, sure, I’ve had faster success before.”
Turner then explained exactly what went into training as he prepared for the 40-yard dash.
“I was at XPE in Fort Lauderdale,” Turner said, when asked where he did his training. “We were doing a whole set… We were definitely getting to it. They were getting faster. We were definitely going through beginnings, endings, just focusing on everything, we were doing two days a day.”
The training certainly paid off for Turner, who has demonstrated his speed to all 32 NFL teams.
“There was talk that I was fast, so it was definitely good to broadcast that to the gathering,” Turner said.
As far as comparisons to other cornerbacks in the draft class go, Turner knows his speed will make up for his lack of size and physicality compared to few other draft lockouts.
“Some angles are, just, different body types,” Turner said. “It just depends on what the team wants, honestly. There’s Joey Porter (Jr.) there, but he’s a bigger corner…Devon Witherspoon, he’s right there, and so, we kind of have the same body type, there’s (Kelly) Ringo, a bigger corner, So I definitely know my competition.”
Porter and Witherspoon are both surefire first-round picks, and Ringo is likely a first-round pick, too. Turner isn’t expected to rise to the level of any of the three cornerbacks he called the pro day, but he has laid out a good playing field for NFL teams when they ask why they should draft the former Michigan DB.
“The competitive corner, the press corner, he can play the cornerback, the nickel, basically all of them, certainly in tune with the game plan,” Turner said.
Turner is projected to be a second-day pick in next month’s NFL Draft, but his proven speed and quickness could lead to some teams giving Turner a look earlier than many might expect.
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