The Cincinnati Bengals defensive back room is loaded with young talent. The emerging Cam Taylor-Britt and rising Dax Hill are both in their second years in the NFL and are making a major impact. Rookie safety Jordan Battle has shown flashes when he’s seen the field.
And then there’s DJ Turner. The rookie out of Michigan has been pushed into a larger role this season as Chidobe Awuzie has recovered from last season’s knee injury and dealt with a back injury over the last few weeks. Turner has matched up with the likes of DeAndre Hopkins and Tyler Lockett and has been impressive.
So impressive, however, that he ranks in the top 10 of all cornerbacks in the NFL in DVOA.
Best CB DVOA (min 120 cov snaps)— Aaron Schatz (@ASchatzNFL) October 20, 2023
K.Nixon GB (!) -100%
M.Carter NYJ -70%
A.Witherspoon LAR -61%
M.Emerson CLE -53%
D.Bland DAL -51%
D.J.Turner CIN -49%
T.Johnson BUF -47%
M.Peters LV -41%
D.Kendrick LAR -39%
D.Lenoir SF -36%
M.Lattimore NO -35%
A.Gardner NYJ -33%
DVOA stands for defense-adjusted value over average. Essentially, the number calculates the success of a team based on the down and distance of every play throughout the season and then calculates how much more or less successful every team is. They then compare that to the league average. Some love analytical stats like these, and some loathe them, but they do bring value.
Turner is ranked above big names like Marcus Peters, Marshawn Lattimore, and Sauce Gardner with a 49% DVOA.
As Awuzie plays out a contract year and has struggled to see the field consistently this season, Turner is gaining valuable experience that could pay off next season, as he could be in line for the starting role opposite Taylor-Britt.
Coming out of the bye week, Turner will likely continue to improve and prepare for an even bigger role in the future.