Leaked NFL Draft Footage Changes Tone on Vikings 1st-Round Pick

The Minnesota Vikings faced some scrutiny over trading up to the 17th pick in April’s draft to land an edge rusher — but that edge rusher, Dallas Turner, may be a steal if you ask the New York Jets.

Footage captured inside the Jets’ draft room showed that the front office expected the Atlanta Falcons to take Turner with the No. 8 pick, making him the first defender to come off the board.

Instead, the Falcons stunned the NFL by selecting quarterback Michael Penix Jr., which put the pressure on the Vikings to move up the board before a fifth quarterback was taken. They made that move, trading with the Jets to land J.J. McCarthy with the 10th overall pick.

The Jets’ high valuation of Turner adds more credibility that he was a talented prospect who fell to the middle of the draft — but there is legitimate concern over how much the Vikings spent to acquire Turner.

Criticism Surrounding Vikings’ Selection of Dallas Turne

Dallas Turner

The criticism surrounding the pick was the Vikings gave up draft capital in two trades to land Turner. They traded a pair of second-round picks to the Houston Texans to acquire the No. 23 pick, only to trade that pick, a 2024 fifth-rounder and 2025 third- and fourth-round picks to move up for Turner.

Spending that amount of draft capital on an edge rusher in the middle of the first round hasn’t been a slam dunk. Sumer Sports’ Eric Eager noted that from 2011 to 2021, edge rushers taken between picks 14 to 20 have had their fifth-year option picked up only 53.8% of the time.

“Only off-ball linebackers (3/7) and quarterback (0/3) have had worse rates,” Eager added.

The dilemma with the draft is it only takes one team to cement a player’s draft stock to the rest of the NFL. Few draft analysts had Penix penned as a top-10 pick, but that’s a reputation he’ll have to live up to with the investment the Falcons made to land him.

In Turner’s case, he will always be a No. 17 overall pick — but he can make the Vikings right by proving to live up to his consensus top-10 status and be a staple player on the defense for the next decade.

Jets Corroborate Turner as Top Defender in the NFL Draft

Dallas Turner, Minnesota Vikings

Entering the draft, Turner was the No. 9 consensus-ranked player and top-ranked defender by draft analysts.

GoLongTD’s Bob McGinn polled 16 NFL personnel staffers around the league to rank the best defensive player in the draft and Turner was a runaway favorite with nine first-place votes.

It seems that whether it’s outside the league or internally, Turner was considered the top defensive player in a draft that saw an unprecedented 14 offensive players selected before Laiatu Latu was the first defender selected 15th overall.

While Turner, nor any other defender, was viewed as an alpha defender that is worth a top-five selection, it’s clear the Vikings rookie edge rusher is poised to be much better than the No. 17 pick.

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