Former Michigan cornerback D.J. Turner turned heads earlier this month after posting an eye-popping 4.26 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. The defensive back isn’t the biggest, or even most physical cornerback in this year’s draft class, but the Michigan senior left no doubt as to who the fastest player in the class is.
Turner met with reporters on Friday after Michigan held its annual pro day, and he said he wasn’t surprised at all by his combine-best time.
«I knew I was going to run what I ran,» Turner said.
Even with his unbelievably fast time, Turner said he’s done better before.
«I’ve run faster before,» he said. «It’s basically around what I’ve been running, though. But, I’ve definitely, I’ve hit faster before.»
Turner then expound on what exactly went into the 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 at. «We were doing a whole bunch… we were definitely getting at it. They get the fast faster. We definitely hone in on starts, the ends, just focusing on everything, we were doing two-a-days.»
The training certainly paid off for Turner, who showcased his speed for all 32 NFL teams to see.
«There was talk that I was fast, so it was definitely good to broadcast that to the combine,» Turner said.
As far as comparisons go with other cornerbacks in the draft class, Turner knows his speed will make up for his lack of size and physicality compared to a few of the draft’s other lockdown defenders.
«Some of the corners, just, different body types,» Turner said. «It just depends on what a team wants, honestly. There’s Joey Porter (Jr.) out there, but he’s a bigger corner… Devon Witherspoon, he’s out there, and so, we kind of have the same body type, there’s (Kelee) Ringo, bigger corner, so I definitely know my competition.»
Porter and Witherspoon are both surefire first-round picks, and Ringo is a likely first-round selection, too. Turner isn’t projected to go as high as any of the three cornerbacks he named at pro day, but he’s put together a good pitch for NFL teams when they ask why they should draft the former Michigan DB.
«Competitive, press-man corner, can play corner, nickel, basically all of them, and definitely in-tune 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 could result in some teams giving Turner a look earlier than many might expect.
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