Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Presented by

5 Things to Know About Vikings 1st-Round Draft Pick Dallas Turner

EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings saw an opportunity and snagged it.

A record number of offensive players being drafted Thursday night pushed highly touted defensive players farther down the board than originally projected.

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took advantage of the situation and arranged a trade with Jacksonville to move up from 23 to 17 and nab Alabama's Dallas Turner, the consensus top edge rusher in this year's draft class.

View photos OLB Dallas Turner being selected as one of the Vikings 2024 first round draft picks in Detroit.

Last season for the Crimson Tide, Turner started all 14 games and recorded 53 tackles (28 solo), 11 sacks, a team-leading 14.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and 13 quarterback hits.

Turner served as a team captain and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and received First-Team All-SEC honors. He also was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new outside linebacker:

  1. Impressed at the combine

Turner participated in the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where he led all edge rushers in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.46 seconds, as well as in the vertical jump. He reached 40.5 inches, an inch higher than the next closest in his position group.

Turner tied for third place among edge rushers in the broad jump, where he logged a leap of 10 feet, 7 inches.

  1. Compared to Hightower

Alabama's football program has turned out a number of NFL players under Head Coach Nick Saban, who just retired this offseason.

Saban was interviewed during ABC's coverage of the draft and compared Turner to Dont’a Hightower, who played a pivotal role on Alabama's 2011 National Championship team.

"This guy's quiet, but he's a great leader," Saban said of Turner. "He sets a great example. He works hard every day in practice. He has position-flexibility.

"People keep comparing him to Will Anderson; he's more like Dont'a Hightower. He went inside, he got outside, we stood him up, he's a good rusher. He can take gaps inside. So I think the versatility is phenomenal," Saban added.

Hightower was drafted 25th overall by New England in 2012 and went on to play 10 seasons for the Patriots, earning three Super Bowl rings and a pair of Pro Bowl nods.

  1. Athletic genes

Turner's father, Delon, also made his mark as an athlete but on the hardwood rather than a football field.

Delon played basketball for Florida A&M University, where he was a two-time Black College All-American (1992, 1993) and was the 1992 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He was a three-time All-MEAC selection (1991, 1992, 1993), twice earning First-Team honors (1992, 1993).

Delon Turner finished his career as the Rattlers all-time Division I leading scorer with 1,795 points (16.8 points per game) and the program's all-time Division I leading rebounder with 974 boards (9.1 per game average).

He went on to play 11 seasons of professional basketball in Europe. In 2020, he was inducted into the FAMU Athletics Hall of Fame.

  1. Has a business side

When Turner was 17 years old, Alabama helped recruit him by creating an image edit that showed the young athlete on the cover of Forbes magazine with the headline, "All Business: From Being a Bama Baller to one of the Richest Self-Made Billionaires."

Turner especially appreciated the graphic because of his father, who previously worked on Wall Street as a wealth manager and is the founder and managing partner of 7even Hills Venture Capital.

"Seeing him and how he handled his business and the hard work he put in inspired me to get my feet wet in business when the opportunity presented itself," Turner told The Athletic. "When (Alabama) sent me that edit, it was kind of surreal because my dad reads Forbes weekly. So seeing him read the magazine, then getting the edit, it's like that can really happen in the future."

Turner considers himself an entrepreneur, having followed in Delon's footsteps.

According to The Athletic, Turner wanted a new gaming monitor and was given a $20 "loan" from his mom to purchase baking supplies. He soon was running a bake sale at the school that brought in $800.

  1. Esteemed alum

Turner attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which has produced a high number of notable alumni.

Among the names who join Turner as St. Thomas Aquinas grads are Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, as well as NFL brothers Joey and Nick Bosa.

He was coached there by Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.