2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: North Dakota State T/G Billy Turner

North Dakota State Billy Turner

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Position: OT/OG School: North Dakota State
Height: 6’5″ Weight: 316
Class: RS Senior 40 time: N/A

Though it would have seemed rather unlikely following a 2013 NFL Draft which saw nine offensive linemen go in the first round, it’s looking more and more like there will once again be a big run on linemen in 2014. One of the players who stands to seriously benefit is North Dakota State left tackle Billy Turner who has made his way from the anonymity of the Football Championship Subdivision to play in the Senior Bowl and now be projected by most draft experts as a second-day pick.

Turner has been dominant as a member of the Bison even when he’s been on a big stage. He was fantastic in NDSU’s opener facing a Kansas State squad that was less than nine months removed from a Fiesta Bowl appearance. Turner stepped up to the challenge, finishing with ten knockdowns and a grade of 96 percent from his coaching staff as the Bison won 24-21.

His greatest skill as things project to the NFL is his incredible strength and aggressiveness which makes him a candidate to play at both tackle and guard positions. He has the quickness and athleticism to stick at tackle in the NFL, but some evaluators feel that with his ability to be a road-grader he may be a greater weapon as a guard.

At least as far as one can tell from his game film, Turner only has a few coachable weaknesses that need to be corrected before he can become a very effective NFL lineman. He needs to refine his pass-blocking technique a bit as he tends to come up too high and get pushed back. In addition, he lets pass rushers bounce off him too easily which can lead to a loss of yardage in the backfield.

Turner has improved his stock a whole lot recently as his contribution to NDSU’s FCS National Championship team was very noticeable. In addition, he got to show off his skills during Senior Bowl week, and while reviews for him were mixed, he was able to hang with the linemen from other schools who are considered to be candidates for early selection. If Turner can top off his impressive pre-draft season with a solid showing at the Scouting Combine he should have a very good chance to go in either round two or three.

Positives

  • Great arm extension on both pass and run blocks
  • Good, fluid footwork when pass blocking
  • A whole lot of raw strength; physically dominates at the line of scrimmage and frequently knocks players to the ground with just a simple push
  • Quick enough to make solid contact with defenders at the second level
  • Shows good potential on angle blocks, which could make him a candidate for conversion to guard
  • Uses leverage well, can put his body into defenders and drive them down the field
  • Decent lateral movement
  • Weight will allow him to easily shift between guard and tackle if necessary
  • Comes from a football pedigree; father Maurice was an NFL running back, while brother Bryan Kehl is a member of the Washington Redskins

Negatives

  • Has a tendency to come up too high on pass blocks and get pushed back
  • Lets pass rushers bounce off him too easily rather than knocking them out of the play
  • Seems to be a bit hesitant on pulls
  • Measured in an inch shorter than his 6-foot-6 college listing at the Senior Bowl, meaning he is just a bit on the shorter side for a tackle

2013 Performance

Turner was the anchor of an offensive line which enabled North Dakota State to win its third straight FCS Championship. In addition to being a big part of the seventh-ranked rushing offense in the FCS, Turner also was a superior pass blocker and was not responsible for any sacks during 2013.

2014 Draft Projection: Late Second/Early Third Round

Film Watched: vs. Kansas State (2013), vs. Coastal Carolina (2013), vs. Northern Iowa (2013), vs. Delaware State (2013)

Patrick Karraker is an NFL Draft Scout for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickKarraker, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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