The Forum’s Eric Peterson asked Dane Brugler his impressions on former North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner from Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. Brugler is the senior draft analyst for CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com. He’s covered four Senior Bowls.
- Q: How much has Turner raised his stock (if any) during the course of practice this week? Turner definitely helped himself this week because he showed he could hang with the big boys. The only reason someone knew he was from the FCS-ranks is his NDSU helmet, certainly not by his play. He had some hiccups, but ultimately he performed well in front of the hundreds of NFL scouts and coaches in attendance for practices this week.
- What has impressed you the most about Turner this week? I scouted Turner on film and got to see him in person at the FCS Championship Game, so I knew what to expect. He looked quick and strong with a nasty punch. In terms of physicality, it’s usually easy to spot the “small school” kids, but Turner was very aggressive and didn’t hold back this week. He didn’t look out of place.
- Do you see him playing guard or tackle in the NFL? Turner lined up at both guard and tackle in practice on Monday but when Tennessee OT Ja’Wuan James was injured, he was forced to stay at right tackle the rest of the week because of depth issues. He was exposed a few times on the edges against a few speed rushers, but did enough at tackle to show he can stay there if needed. However, I think his best NFL position will be inside where he can dominate in a phone booth, but also pull and show off his mobility when needed.
- What are things he still needs to work on to be a solid NFL player? The big issue is his ability to sink his hips and stay balanced at the point of attack to better hold his ground. He relied on his natural strength and size in college to dominate his man, but at the NFL level, he will need to utilize leverage and play more mechanically-sound.
- What have been the most common criticisms of Turner this week? Playing too high and struggling to properly sink his lower body and bend at the knees. He needs some technique work and once he gets into a NFL camp, he’ll be able to learn quick.
- At this point, where do you think he could get drafted? What is the range? I think he’s on the cusp of the 2nd-3rd round. Scouts really like him and this isn’t a strong offensive line class so he should be on several teams’ radar in the top-60 picks.