What he offers: Turner is a great case study in a player who got better in all of his college seasons. He was under-utilized in his first two seasons with the Wolf Pack, buried on the depth chart behind a large group of receivers and catching only six passes. A switch to tight end — which, in the Air Raid, still meant mostly splitting wide — jump-started his career and turned him into an All-Mountain West player. Considering he’s still learning the position, he offers a very high ceiling.
Nevada junior TE Cole Turner declared for the 2022 NFL Draft on Wednesday.
After accepting an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl back in November, this was inevitable for Turner (6'6"/240). What was a surprise in his announcement he put out on his Twitter page Wednesday afternoon was that he was skipping the Quick Lane Bowl against Western Michigan. Turner was a dominant force for the Wolfpack, catching 62 passes for 677 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.
FF analyst Austin Gayle named Nevada TE Cole Turner as a player who disappointed during Senior Bowl practices.
Turner (6'6/240) looked skinny compared to the other tight ends and had defenders stuck to him during both 1-on-1's and team sessions. He is clearly overmatched as a blocker, so if he can't separate in the passing game then Turner isn't going to have much value at the NFL level. The Nevada tight end caught 62-of-93 targets for 677 yards and 10 touchdowns this year, earning a modest 72.6 receiving grade from PFF. Turner is shaping up like a Day 3 dart throw in this year's draft.
Nevada TE Cole Turner was among those invited to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
Turner (6'6/240) has been a player to watch on the Nevada Wolf Pack for the past two seasons, recording the best season of his career in 2021. Because of that, he's had an opportunity to continue impressing in pre-draft events -- most recently the Reese's Senior Bowl. Now, he's headed to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, where he recently told Crissy Froyd of The Draft Network that he's hoping to prove he's one of the fastest tight ends in this draft class, in addition to being one of the most versatile.
Commanders selected Nevada TE Cole Turner with the No. 149 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Turner (6'7/249) spent his first two seasons at Nevada as a wide receiver but only managed a 6-88-1 receiving line in six games. His receiving production spiked after converting to tight end in 2020. Despite the position change, Turner played 99% of his snaps in the slot or out wide as a junior. He played 15% of his snaps inline in 2021, but still spent 58% of his snaps in the slot and 27% out-wide. Essentially a big wide receiver, Turner was able to log a 111-1,282-19 receiving line in his final 20 games. Turner was particularly impressive as a touchdown scorer, producing 35% of Nevada's touchdowns in 2020 and 30% in 2021. With a 4.79 40 and a 29-inch vertical, Turner may be dynamic enough to earn snaps in a big-WR role in the NFL, but he could have a rotational goal line presence.
This leads us to our big winner of this first round of practices, tight end Cole Turner. The fifth-round tight end is expected to be more of a contributor in the passing game as a receiver than as a blocker, but if Friday's display is a sign of things to come then the Commanders are going to be very happy with this Day 3 investment. In fact, head coach Ron Rivera already went on record earlier predicting Turner would be someone to watch as the season preparation continued.
Turner made two very impressive catches during the day, one on the sideline and one on a high and tight missile many tight ends would have seen soar over their heads. Sure, catching is supposed to be his strength, but these were NFL-caliber receptions, in his first weekend on the job.
Tight end Cole Turner is someone Ron Rivera has enjoyed talking up since the franchise took Turner in the fifth round of the draft, and Turner didn't disappoint in Ashburn. There is no exaggeration with the 6-foot-6 listing Turner's getting on the roster sheets that were handed out to reporters but he moves well for a player of that size. There may be questions about his blocking, but honestly, those questions may not matter if coordinator Scott Turner opts to deploy him as basically a giant wideout and red-zone threat:
Mark Bullock @MarkBullockNFL
Spent the day watching Cole Turner All-22 from last season. Yes he only had a few catches, but there were encouraging signs before he got hurt. Can see Bieniemy quite liking him in a certain role.
The other young tight end the Commanders are most excited about is Turner. The fifth-round pick in 2022 missed a lot of time last season with a hamstring injury and a concussion. He was turning heads early in training camp before injuring his hamstring and falling behind.
“He’s doing a great job,” Thomas said. “He’s one of those guys that’s kind of built for an offense like this, where he doesn’t really have to stretch the field, but he can use his quickness, use his hands.”
While not quite as athletic as Rogers, Turner also has a big frame and understands how to use his body to shield off defenders, which should make him an excellent red-zone threat in Eric Bieniemy’s offense.
Commanders HC Ron Rivera said TE Cole Turner "had a great spring" after missing part of last season with a hamstring injury.
A former wide receiver turned tight end, Turner has a chance to contribute in his second season with the Commanders if he can stay healthy. Rivera praised Turner for having a "good grasp of the offense" early on and noted his ability to pick things up quickly. In his final 20 games at Nevada, Turner was one of the more productive tight ends in the nation, posting a 111-1282-19 line over his last two seasons. Washington did little to address the tight end position this offseason, and starter Logan Thomas will be 32 at the start of the season. While Turner still has a ways to go to earn significant playing time, he could force his way into the field with a strong camp.
SOURCE: Profootballtalk on NBCSports.com
Jun 12, 2023, 9:59 AM ET