Minnesota Vikings fans celebrate trade up for Dallas Turner at No. 17

Alabama's top defensive player in the 2024 NFL Draft, Dallas Turner slid down the board and was the second edge rusher selected, but may have found the perfect landing spot with the Minnesota Vikings.
Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner
Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have been very active on draft night. First trading up from No. 11 to No. 10 to grad Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy, who knocked Alabama out of the College Football Playoff. Then, trading back up with their second first-round pick from No. 21 to No. 17, swapping with the Jacksonville Jaguars to grab Dallas Turner. 

Turner, who racked up 10 sacks as a junior in 2023, was commonly mocked to Atlanta Falcons at No. 8 overall, but Atlanta shocked the NFL by selecting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in that slot. In fact, no defensive player was taken in the first 14 picks. 

The Indianapolis Colts grabbed the first defensive player at No. 15, drafting Laiatu Latu, the edge rusher out of UCLA over Turner. Latu was dominant last season but was previously advised to medically retire when he was at Washington because of a neck injury. Indianapolis was evidently undaunted by that and with six quarterbacks taken in the first 12 picks, Turner was nearly in free fall. 

Minnesota stopped the slide and Vikings fans rejoiced. The team needed a replacement for Danielle Hunter who has been a staple on that defense since 2015 but signed with Houston in free agency. 

The Vikings blitzed more than any team in the league with defensive coordinator Brian Flores last year, which could mean big numbers for Turner. 

Minnesota’s general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, has preached a “competitive rebuild” since taking over the franchise, and tonight could be the culmination of that effort. Even former Vikings are excited about the direction of the team after adding the Alabama star. 

Last season, Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. won Defensive Rookie of the Year with a 10.5 sack season for the Houston Texans. There is a chance that Turner outdoes his former teammate given the blitz-heavy scheme and that possibility has Turner’s new fanbase salivating. 

It was a bit of a slide for Alabama’s top defensive player of the board after JC Latham was selected at No. 7 overall, but it looks like the perfect landing spot.

Next. JC Latham may be forced into a position change in Tennessee. JC Latham may be forced into a position change in Tennessee. dark