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NFL prospect focus: Trai Turner

Greg Gabriel breaks down the LSU guard. Greg Gabriel

May 01, 2014
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Strong Points – Bulk, long arms, speed, in-line run blocking, pull to his right, pass protection, physical and competitive

Weak Points – Lacks ideal height, pull to his left, just an adequate athlete, not a natural bender, takes some bad penalties, has only played right guard

Summation – Turner is a third-year sophomore who entered the draft as an underclassman. Coming out of high school, he was a four-star recruit sought after by the top programs in the country. As a true freshman, he red-shirted. Six games into the 2012 season, he became the starter at right guard and has held it ever since. In his collegiate career, he has 20 starts in 25 games played. 

Turner lacks ideal height at 6025, but he is a big, thick guy with long arms. He is a barrel-chested guy with a thick lower body. He has very good straight-line speed and quickness, as shown but his 4.93 forty-yard dash at the combine. He has some tightness in his knees and hips, which was shown by his slow shuttle and three-cone times at the LSU pro day (5.02 0 20 shuttle, 8.01 three-cone).

Turner's best skill is run blocking. He is a powerful drive blocker who has some snap in his hips on contact and does a good job working his feet after initial contact is made. He consistently gets movement and often pancakes his opponent. With his tightness, he can be inconsistent getting to the second level. He does not show a consistent ability to adjust on the move.

When asked to pull, he does a better job when going to the right. He is quicker out of his stance and turns well going right. When going left, he takes extra steps and is a bit slower getting out in front of the running back.

Turner is an effective pass blocker. He can set quickly and shows a strong punch. He does a good job keeping his hands inside, and with his upper body strength, he is able to “steer” his opponent. While he doesn’t have great bend, he does a good job anchoring because of his strength and power. He is an alert player who can pick up stunts and blitzes.

Having only played right guard, he may have position limitations. To be able to dress on Sunday as a rookie, he needs to able to play both guard positions and center. He has the talent to be an eventual starter at guard. He needs to work on increasing his flexibility. He is a physical, competitive player, but he has some limitations.

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