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Cowboys Draft 2014: Scouting Billy Turner

Because there has been such a high correlation in recent years between the top collegians invited to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits and who the Cowboys end up drafting, it's important to know as much as possible about these players. As a service to you BTB is providing a series of detailed scouting reports on each of these targets. Today the series continues with our look at North Dakota State offensive lineman, Billy Turner.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Billy Turner

Position: Offensive Line

School: North Dakota State

Height: 6’ 5"

Weight: 315 LBs

Games Studied: Kansas State, Coastal Carolina, Northern Iowa, Delaware State

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results.  The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player's peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Pass Game:

Billy Turner played left tackle for the three-time FCS National Champion NDSU Bison offense, and was very effective doing so. At that position he was clearly the Bison’s best blocker, and most times was the best player on the field at that level. As a pass protector, Turner does a good job of walling his man off, although he isn’t necessarily the best athlete you’ll see at tackle, or the longest, he is adequate in each of these areas, and is a good protector.

One area that he will need to improve on physically is his footwork in his kick-slide.  He has slower feet at this point than other tackles available in the draft in protection which sometimes makes him slow to the edge and against a very good edge rusher or slot blitzer with speed that can get him in some trouble, but in general he gets in good position, has good anchor and heavy hands in his punch.

Another area I struggle with about Turner is his tendency to lunge a bit with his upper body, bending at the waist rather than his knees or sinking his hips, and that occasionally lets guys get by him and create pressure on his QB.

Run Game:

Where Turner is at his best is in the run game, NDSU ran a very diverse package of running plays, and Turner was the cornerstone.  If it was 3rd and 2, or were inside the 5-yard line, most times they were running the ball right behind their left tackle, and had great success doing so. Whether he was down blocking, combo blocking, reach blocking, or pulling, he was effective in this area.

You really see the violence in his hands and his ability to move his feet, as he gets out to the second level mirrors the LB or DB he’s set to block, and then delivers a blow that redirects the defender, sometimes leaving them on their rear, as the RB springs by for a big gain. He is the kind of blocker that got movement on guys in the run game, and left guys on the ground often.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Billy Turner’s ceiling in the NFL is likely a very good right tackle, with his floor being a very good guard. With his ability to get movement on defensive linemen, or track down smaller guys at the second level, he would be a very good fit for the zone scheme that the Cowboys use to run the ball, and his stoutness in pass protection would be welcome at either spot.  While he’s not a perfect player, I believe that Turner is a late 2nd round grade, who could be a target at 47, and would be very good value at 78 if he does happen to be there at that point.

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