“Most Dangerous New Addition” for Vikings Will Make You Smile

1 Vikings Player Certainly Won over the Masses
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s not new running back Aaron Jones, and it isn’t even the fancy new quarterback.

“Most Dangerous New Addition” for Vikings Will Make You Smile

According to Bleacher Report, rookie outside linebacker Dallas Turner is the Minnesota Vikings’ so-called “most dangerous new addition.”

draft grade
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BR’s Ryan Fowler attached the label to one player from each NFL team this week, and when he arrived at the Vikings, Turner’s name was called. “Turner was occasionally quiet at Alabama, but his explosiveness and bend should translate right away to the NFL. He’ll need to improve on early downs, but he has the athleticism to play the fringe areas and a skill set that could evolve into something special,” Fowler explained.

Minnesota used an expensive trade to grab the draft pick needed to select Turner, and before too long, Turner will emerge as a starter on the purple team’s defensive line. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah also signed free agents Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel this offseason, so Minnesota is deeper at EDGE than any time in the last eight or so years.

Minnesota outside linebacker Dallas Turner at the first day of rookie minicamp on May 10th, 2024, in Eagan, Minnesota. TCO Performance Center. Turner was drafted by the Vikings with the 17th overall pick on April 25th, 2024, in Detroit.

Fowler added, “Veteran free-agent additions Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard should help lighten the load for him as well. Running back Aaron Jones was another excellent offseason addition, but Turner working off Greenard (who had a career-high 12.5 sacks last season) is extremely intriguing.”

Turner is also a candidate to win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Down the line, analysts are lining up to predict Turner as the fancy hardware owner, which would be music to the ears of the Vikings’ front office and coaching staff, plus the team’s fans. Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum opined on Turner’s DROY stakes earlier this month after picking him for 2024 DROY, “Turner will have a lot of pass-rushing opportunities, which I believe he will take advantage of. I thought he should have gone as high as No. 8 to Atlanta because he has the double-digit sack total ability.”

New Addition
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ESPN’s Jordan Reid followed suit in the same publication: “Playing in Brian Flores’ defense, Turner is a perfect match, as he will likely be used at multiple spots. His first-step burst and continued expansion of his array of pass-rush moves set him up for early success. Expect Turner to be moved around quite a bit and receive many opportunities to make plays in multiple ways.”

A handful of coaches keep comparing Turner to former Pro Bowler Dont’a Hightower. Nick Saban, Turner’s and Hightower’s collegiate coach, kicked off the Hightower festivities right after Minnesota selected Turner. He said on draft night, “People keep comparing him to Will Anderson; he’s more like Dont’a Hightower. He went inside, he got outside, we stood him up, he’s a good rusher. He can take gaps inside. So I think the versatility is phenomenal.”

Two weeks later, Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores mentioned the Turner-Hightower comp, “I was asked this recently. The name that comes to mind, and he was another Alabama player, is Dont’a Hightower. Big, fast, physical, great traits and intangibles, leadership. That’s the name that comes to mind. I would say he’s probably a little faster than Hightower.”

If you’re keeping track at home, this is the post-draft scorecard for Turner:

  • Dont’a Hightower comparison
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner
  • “Most Dangerous New Addition”

Turner turned 21 in February.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.