Dallas Turner Could Immediately Bring Home Hardware

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Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings were expected to utilize their first-round draft capital for a quarterback on Thursday night, and they did exactly that when selecting Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. What they also did, though, was hold onto their second pick and grab the best defensive player available in Dallas Turner. He should be expected to make an immediate impact.

Dallas Turner Could Immediately Bring Home Hardware

This offseason, Kevin O’Connell’s squad made two key departures. Losing Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings found themselves in a position where they had to replace significant snaps. The quarterback position is obviously the most important role in professional sports and an edge rusher attacks that spot, looking to bring them down.

Draft Meeting
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Cousins left for a sizable payday and a chance to be closer to family in Atlanta. Hunter also went home to Texas and got paid coming off a career-year. It wasn’t unexpected that either or both would be with new teams, but how Minnesota replaced them would always be part of the story.

Dallas Turner steps in as a new edge rusher for the Vikings, and Brian Flores can unleash him starting the first week of the season. While the franchise signed both Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel this offseason, there was still a need on the defensive line.

dallas turner
Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores chatting with Tatum Everett on February 15th, 2023. The Vikings hired Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a linebackers coach for one season.

How the configuration works out remains to be seen, but you can bet that Turner will rush the passer from the start.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the best defensive player in the draft is a favorite to land defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Turner will have a clear path to playing time, and the only thing that will slow him down is his acclimation period. If he can get up to speed quickly at the next level, then Minnesota should see the benefit of star production out of their new rushing threat.

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Replacing Hunter’s production was never going to be easy as he has shown to be among the best pass rushers in the NFL. He also has proven unable to stay on the field, which left production in an uncertain spot during his tenure. Turner will have big shoes to fill, but if there’s a rookie capable of coming through, the Alabama product remains a likely producer.


Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.

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