For the second straight year the Bengals dipped into the second round to take a cornerback when they tracked down the fastest player at the NFL scouting combine and plucked Michigan's DJ Turner II with the 60th pick in Friday night's session of the NFL Draft.
It also marked the second straight draft they went defense in the first two rounds. Last year it was Turner's Wolverines teammate, safety Dax Hill, and Nebraska cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt. Now Turner joins first-rounder Myles Murphy, the edge from Clemson.
It also may give the Bengals the crown of the NFL's fastest secondary as Turner's blistering 4.26 is teamed with the 4.38s Hill and Taylor-Britt ran last year at Indianapolis. Throw in the 21 miles-per-hour of the Next Gen Stats speed of No. 1 cornerback Chidobe Awuzie and new safety Nick Scott and that's fast.
The 6-0, 180-pound Turner ripped off the fourth fastest 40 since 2003 while racking up an athleticism score of 97. A product of Swanee, Ga., Turner started two seasons and got his hands on 17 passes in 27 games and had three interceptions. It looks like he has the skills to also play in the slot as well as outside.
"Speedy athletic corner with experience as a field and boundary corner," according to Ourlads Scouting Services. "Outstanding movement skills, he shows short area agility and quickness to go with long speed."
Taylor-Britt emerged as a solid starter halfway through the season when Awuzie tore his ACL on Halloween. Awuzie says his rehab hasn't had any setbacks, but a starter from the previous two seasons, Eli Apple, has not re-signed. Turner reinforces a room that added veteran Sidney Jones IV and his 27 NFL starts in free agency and has the top slot cornerback in the game in Mike Hilton. With Awu
See the best college photos of CB DJ Turner II, the Bengals second pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.