NFL Hot Press: Dallas Turner Top Defensive Prospect by Default

Dallas Turner

Throughout the leadup to the 2024 NFL Draft, the focus has been on the top quarterback prospects like Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels J.J. McCarthy, and wide receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. The 2024 NFL Draft is also known to be a great year to take an offensive tackle, with an excellent class of blockers up front. Not much attention has been paid to the defensive prospects, and that is in part because this is not a great year for defensive talent. In surveying team sources, they shared they felt Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner is the top defensive prospect by default.

“By default, Dallas Turner is the top one because of the premium position, but not because of dominance,” said an AFC director of college scouting.

Sources from a couple of other teams also said Turner was their top prospect, but more so because the 2024 NFL Draft lacked an elite end like a Myles Garrett or one of the Bosa brothers. This draft also does not have cornerback talent like Sauce Gardner or Derek Stingley Jr. One team’s director gave an interesting answer with some different names.

“[Laiatu] Latu would be [at the top] if it weren’t for the medical,” said an NFC director of player personnel. “Aside from him, it would be Turner, maybe [Quinyon] Mitchell.”

Latu could slide in the 2024 NFL Draft because of medical concerns. The Toledo corner Mitchell had both great Senior Bowl and 2024 NFL Scouting Combine performances to help himself. In my latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft, I only have seven defensive prospects in the top-20 picks. Teams feel the 2024 NFL Draft could be offense heavy on the opening night.