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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

Former Alabama LB Dallas Turner gets compared to two-time NFL Pro Bowl player

Former Alabama LB Dallas Turner explodes with a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

Dallas Turner could be the first University of Alabama alumnus called on night one of the NFL Draft.

The South Florida native had a successful career for Alabama football, coming in as a five-star in the 2021 class.

RELATED: Former Alabama CB Terrion Arnold has ‘unbelievable ball skills’, per NFL Draft analyst

He learned from Will Anderson and stepped right in as a leader in 2023.

Turner terrorized quarterbacks and running backs to a tune of 53 total tackles, including 14.5 stops for loss (team-high) and 10 sacks (team-high). He led the Crimson Tide’s defense with 13 quarterback hurries and had two forced fumbles.

Turner is a two-time Southeastern Conference Champion (2021, 2023), but he was the reason why last year’s team won a conference title in Nick Saban’s final year as head coach. He took home multiple awards, including first-team All-SEC, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and Consensus All-American. Turner was named a permanent team captain — joining Jalen Milroe and Malachi Moore — by his peers, getting his hand print and cleat print cemented on Denny Chimes. He turned in a 4.46 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine, showcasing freakish speed and athleticism with a 83″ wingspan. Lane Zierlein, an NFL Draft analyst for NFL Network, compared Turner to former first-round pick Brian Burns of the New York Giants with Daniel Jeremiah.

Burns, a former Florida State standout, was selected at No. 16 overall in the 2019 draft by the Carolina Panthers.

He has been selected to two Pro Bowls and totaled 46 career sacks (2019-23) for the Panthers.

“He reminded me of Brian Burns,” Zierlien said about Turner. “He was not the biggest pass rusher at Florida State, but Dallas Turner has good size and is continuing to get bigger. Both of these guys can get off the mark very quickly and get around the corner very easily. Any slow-footed tackle is going to be in a lot of trouble. With Dallas Turner, it is making sure he gets the leverage on that outside shoulder, and it is going to be a wrap. He will be able to flatten and get to the quarterback.”

Zierlien picked Burns, but Jeremiah compared Turner to Peter Boulware. 

Boulware, a first-round pick of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens, was a Florida State standout. He was a monster in the National Football League from 1997 to 2005. Boulware was a Super Bowl Champion in 2000 for the Ravens and a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He is in the Ravens’ Ring of Honor and captured a national championship with the Seminoles in 1993.

Boulware had 70 career sacks, including three seasons with at least 10.

Turner has immense potential at the next level, but we will see where he lands on Thursday, April 25.

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Stephen M. Smith is the senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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