Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Countdown: Making the Case for Billy Turner

Andrew Tornetta@AndrewTornettaCorrespondent IIApril 28, 2014

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner warms up before an NCAA college football game versus Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.  (AP Photo/Brent Smith)
R Brent Smith

It's well known around the league that the Miami Dolphins have a major need on the offensive line with the NFL draft now less than two weeks away.  

Whether it be Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin, Cyrus Kouandjio, Morgan Moses or Xavier Su'a-Filo, the vast majority of national analysts have the Dolphins selecting an offensive lineman with the No. 19 pick in the first round.

While I've personally made a case for drafting Moses, I've also been in favor of drafting playmakers in the early rounds like Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant.

The reason that the Dolphins can go with a best-player-available mentality and don't necessarily have to simply draft a lineman in the first round is because of players like Billy Turner.

The 6'5", 315-pound Turner is a versatile player who can step in and start at four different positions along the offensive line for the Dolphins.

Turner is long and athletic enough to handle edge-rushers but is also big and strong enough to dominate in the run game and move the line of scrimmage.

He is relatively light on his feet, although he is still a bit raw in his technique, which is what's going to cause him to fall to Day 2 of the draft.

As for where the Dolphins should select Turner, it all depends on how lucky they feel. 

Turner would not be a reach by any means if he was selected in the second round, but if the Dolphins wanted to roll the dice and hope he falls to them in the third, he could be an absolute steal.

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Huge Upside

When watching Turner on film you can't help but be impressed by his incredible strength and athleticism.

He's a very aggressive and violent blocker who also moves extremely well and can get to the second level with ease.

Take a look at this play from a game earlier in the season against Kansas State.


With less than a yard to go to pick up a first down, North Dakota State lines up in a tight I-formation, looking to pound the ball up the middle.

Kansas State counters by stacking the box and bull-rushes the backfield at the snap of the ball.

Everyone on the Bison offensive line gets pushed backexcept for Turner.

Instead, Turner runs right through the Kansas State defensive tackle, driving him backward and right into the ground.


Later on in the game, Turner turns his attention to a different defensive tackle.

This one he blows up at the line of scrimmage on a passing play, throwing him backward and into the ground with force.

It's another great example of the type of power and aggression that Turner plays with and the way he can manhandle defenders on each and every play.

Correctable Flaws

As previously mentioned, Turner does have a few holes in his game that need to be corrected for him to ultimately fulfill his massive potential.

For starters, he continuously overextends himself and has poor hand placement when going up against pass-rushers. 

He also needs to work on his kick slide in pass protection, as he has a tendency of clicking his heels when moving left and right.

You can see these mistakes in the following play, with Turner doing a little bit of everything.


His kick slide is somewhat awkward, he keeps his hands down low as he's moving and throws his hands backward to deliver his punch, overextending himself.

At the college level, Turner was able to get away with these mistakes, but these are the types of things that will consistently get exploited at the professional level if they are not quickly fixed.

Speed-rushers would use his leverage against him, and power-rushers would take the opportunity to deliver the first contact and gain the advantage while his hands are still low. 

R Brent Smith

However, the good news is that these flaws are all easily correctable with some extra work over the course of the offseason and training camp.

Even with these flaws in his technique, Turner still went the entire 2013 season without allowing a sack—a true testament to just how good an athlete he is.

It doesn't happen often that a team can find a player with the type of talent Turner has in the third round. 

Thanks to the draft being so deep on the offensive line, Turner will surely be there for the Dolphins in the second round and very well may be there in the third as well.

Providing he can be coached up and improve his technique, Turner has the potential to develop into one of the premier offensive linemen in the entire draft class.

Andrew Tornetta is a Miami Dolphins' Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his B/R archive and stay updated on his latest articles by becoming a fan.


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