(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is LSU's Trai Turner).
Honors:Turner was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season.
Key stat:The powerful guard recorded 115 knockdowns in his two years at LSU. The third-year sophomore helped running back Jeremy Hill surpass the 1,400-yard rushing mark and recorded 64 knockdowns his final season, including 10 in the Outback Bowl against Iowa.
Where He's Projected: Turner left early after only his redshirt sophomore season and will likely be a mid-round pick in this year's draft, somewhere between the third and fifth rounds. He could have more growing to do at only 20 years old and should get better as he gets more teaching. He's only got one full year of starting experience, starting in all 13 games last year for LSU after starting in seven games his redshirt freshman season the year prior.
How He Helps the Cowboys:Turner's best days are still ahead of him, and he could develop into a mauler at the next level with more work on his technique as he grows into his body. He plays a position the Cowboys need significantly more depth in at guard, and Turner has the ability to quickly compete for a starting spot on the line. He may be built more for a power running game than the zone scheme the Cowboys employ, but his 4.93 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine shows that he can get moving when he gets a head of steam. Bill Callahan got to work him out at LSU's Pro Day, so he should have a grasp on how or if Turner can fit. [embedded_ad]
Scout's Take – Bryan Broaddus: He's an interesting player in the regard that he doesn't appear like a player that would fit in that mold of a zone blocking type of guard when you look at his body type, but on tape he does play with some nice mobility. His best trait is his power off the line. Once he gets going, he can really get some movement. Mauler-brawler type of player who stays after his block. Doesn't always hit square. He'll get a stalemate at times. He has some punch but will lose sustain at times and will have to scramble to reengage on the block. His head will go down, and this hurts him because he will bend at the waist and lose his balance.
When his pads are down and his knees are bent, he can pancake his man. He's a very physical player when it comes to his approach to the game. He tries to plant his man in the turf. Turner showed the ability to redirect well enough for his size. Not always pretty in the way he moves, but not slow footed. He'll get in trouble on his pass set when he gets overextended. If the defender tries to rush him down the middle, he can sit there all day and handle that type of rush. If you are going to beat him, you are going to have to make him move.
He'll jump to gain position on the cutoff. Will take his man where he wants to go. Some initial pop and surge. Is not always in balance. Catch and steer. He's got good initial quickness. Turner worked out for Bill Callahan in his pro day at LSU, so there is some interest from the scouts and coaches about his possibility of being selected in the upcoming draft. I can see what they like in his game from the toughness aspect.