SEC Coaches Split on Value of Vikings 1st Round Pick, Dallas Turner

Minnesota Vikings' Dallas Turner
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings had a pair of first round draft picks this April, and rather than package them for a top-three quarterback, they stuck to a process and netted significant value in grabbing both J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner.

Significant talents at two positions of need, it’s hard to think that Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t have a great draft. SEC coaches seem less certain. It remains to be seen whether J.J. McCarthy will start for the Minnesota Vikings out of the gate, but Dallas Turner has a much more straightforward path to immediate playing time.

After Danielle Hunter parted ways in favor of joining the Houston Texans, Brian Flores needed to turn over the edge rusher position. Although a pair of free agents were brought in, Dallas Turner represents an elite talent.

Minnesota Vikings Get Value With Dallas Turner, but SEC Coaches Wonder How Much

When the Minnesota Vikings made their pick of J.J. McCarthy it required them moving up just a single spot to assure he was available. That didn’t sacrifice a significant amount of compensation, and it didn’t include their second first round pick. While originally expected to pick 23rd, Adofo-Mensah moved up again to grab Dallas Turner.

If the reaction of Kevin O’Connell is any indication, Minnesota is pretty happy with how the draft board fell. Dallas Turner could have been a top-10 fit for a couple of teams, and many suggested that he was the best defensive player in the draft.

How that translates to the next level remains to be seen, but it’s hard not to be excited about landing that type of a player in the bottom-half of round one.

Related: Is Dallas Turner a Week 1 Starter for Vikings?

SEC coaches that saw Dallas Turner play regularly were somewhat split on what sort of value the Minnesota Vikings found at 19th overall. One suggested, “Dallas Turner’s elite, elite. I was a little surprised at that. I thought he was going to be a top-10 pick.”

Another said, “I honestly thought he went probably where he should have gone. He’s not Will Anderson. He’s a good player, but I didn’t think he was dynamic.” Neither is an indictment of the Vikings new edge, but it will be on him to prove his real impact.

Dallas Turner Has Opportunity to Prove SEC Coaches Wrong

Florida State’s Jared Verse was really the only other edge rusher connected to the Minnesota Vikings through the draft process, but it’s clear Turner was the key focus for them in that both were available when Minnesota jumped up to grab him. That level of aggressiveness, while having just signed a pair of edge rushers in free agency, speaks volumes.

Jonathan Greenard should be expected to anchor the position for the Vikings defense, but Andrew Van Ginkel may be a less-certain addition. He’ll definitely get plenty of run in a Flores scheme he knows well, but Turner’s upside could best him for immediate reps. How the former Alabama pass rusher fares in training camp and the preseason will largely determine his early opportunity, but he could stand to benefit in a big way.

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