Yes, Lou Anarumo was a defensive backs coach at multiple stops before becoming the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.
And we know he really values the secondary. But it’s also a passing league, and the Bengals had been sneaking by in recent years without a true CB2.
Well, now the team has some pretty good options at corner.
Chidobe Awuzie is the all-around shutdown guy. Cam Taylor-Britt adds physicality. And now DJ Turner will be able to take away deep threats when needed.
The Michigan Wolverine ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. “He can straight out fly,” said former Super Bowl MVP Desmond Howard.
But he can help out a secondary in multiple ways. Howard added that Turner has “tremendous ball skills.”
And here’s what Todd McShay had to say about Turner:
He is scheme-versatile... He can play off-man, he can play press-man, he can play in the nickel. I just like the fact that he is a versatile defensive back that has that kind of speed. Look at his quickness, his fluidity, his top-end speed – he can match up against anyone, and he has shown he can do it.
Similarly, Mel Kiper Jr. thinks Turner was a great value pick, saying:
Now, he had a couple hiccups in coverage — all cornerbacks do — but when you watch him in coverage, he anticipates well, he breaks on the ball, he’s got very good awareness... Footwork, outstanding. Speed to the football, outstanding. Can make up ground in a hurry. A willing tackler throughout his career. He showed that. So if DJ Turner, to me, I thought he might run his way into the late first round — the Bengals get him here at the end of round two.
A to Z Sports’ John Sheeran predicts that Turner will replace Awuzie in 2024 and beyond, adding:
I think DJ Turner objectively was maybe one of the two best cover cornerbacks in this entire class, to be honest with you. He didn’t test in terms of the three cone drill or short shuttle, but he would have blown those drills out of the water just like he did in the 40 yard dash with a time of 4.26, with a vertical and broad jumps that are freaking huge.
Sheeran also addressed Turner’s weight (just under 180 pounds), saying that it won’t be an issue for him to get bigger while still maintaining his speed.
For more of Sheeran’s analysis, watch the video below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: