Former Michigan cornerback DJ Turner attracted attention earlier this month after posting a 4.26 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. The defensive back isn’t the biggest or most physical cornerback in this year’s draft class, but the Michigan senior left no doubt as to who is the fastest player in the class.
Turner met with reporters on Friday after Michigan held its annual pro day, and said he was not at all surprised by his combine-best times.
“I knew I was going to run the races I ran,” Turner said.
Even with the incredibly fast time, Turner said she’s done better before.
“I’ve run fast before,” he said. “It’s basically around what I’m running. But, of course, I’ve hit speeders before.”
Turner then explained what really happened in training as he prepared for the 40-yard dash.
“I was down at XPE in Fort Lauderdale,” Turner said, when asked where he did his training. “We were doing a whole lot… We were definitely getting into it. They go fast fast. We definitely hone in on the beginning, the end, just focusing on everything , we were doing two-days.”
The training certainly paid off for Turner, who showcased his speed for all 32 NFL teams to watch.
Turner said, “There was talk that I was faster, so it was certainly good to broadcast it to the combine.”
As far as comparisons with other cornerbacks in the draft class go, Turner knows that his speed will make up for what he lacks in size and physicality compared to some of the other lockdown guards in the draft.
“Some corner, just, different body types,” Turner said. “It just depends on what a team wants, honestly. There’s Joey Porter (Junior), but he’s a big corner … Devon Witherspoon, he’s there, and so, our body type. Same as, there’s (Kelly) Ringo, the big corner, so I definitely know my competition.”
Both Porter and Witherspoon are definite first-round picks, and Ringo is also a potential first-round pick. Turner isn’t projected to go as high as any of the three cornerbacks named at Pro Day, but he’s made a good pitch to NFL teams when they ask why they should draft the former Michigan DB .
“Can compete, press-man corner, corner, play nickel, basically all of them, and definitely stick to the game plan,” Turner said.
Turner is projected as a second day selection in next month’s NFL Draft, but his proven speed and quickness may result in some teams taking a look at Turner earlier than that.
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