The last pro days of the NFL draft cycle, aside from a couple more throwing sessions, wrapped up on Friday. This included Houston’s pro day with the main attraction being edge rusher Payton Turner.
Per Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, the Bengals had defensive personnel on hand to watch Turner and run him through drills.
Large contingent of DL coaches in attendance at @UHCougarFB pro-day to put EDGE Payton Turner through position drills.— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 9, 2021
Turner looks the part of a classic Marvin Lewis defensive end. He measured in at 6-5, 268 with 35 3/8” arms, but that’s just the beginning. He jumped 35.5” on the vertical and blazed a 6.98 three-come time at that size. To be that long and that explosive and flexible is pretty rare.
Houston only played eight games last season, and Turner only played in five of them due to COVID-19 and a knee injury. In those five games, Turner racked up five sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. It looked like the breakout season Houston waited four seasons to witness, and it happened just in time before Turner would move on to the NFL.
It would not be a surprise to see the Bengals draft a pass rusher on Day 2 of the draft. Turner could realistically go off the board anytime in the second or third round, so remember his name when the Bengals go on the clock after the first round.