Saints fans should want this Day 1 edge target after 2024 NFL Combine

The New Orleans Saints desperately need edge help on the defense, and after the 2024 scouting combine, the Saints should have their eyes on a specific prospect.

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The annual NFL Scouting Combine is always a great place for overlooked prospects to garner more attention, and for top prospects to showcase why they’re getting all of the buzz. At the 2024 Combine, edge defender Dallas Turner was apart of the latter group, putting on show, making it clear that all teams who need an edge defender should be going after him.

The New Orleans Saints are one of those teams. Struggling to get after the quarterback this past season, edge is a top position of need for the Saints. Some analysts have argued that New Orleans should go after edge rushers in free agency and others made the case for the team using the 14th-overall pick on an edge defender. If Dallas Turner is available at 14, he should definitely be headed to New Orleans.

Saints should be interested in Dallas Turner after his combine performance

Coming out of Alabama, many people already had Turner as the No. 1 edge defender in the class, or just the best defensive player in the draft period. For the few that didn’t have Turner atop their board, he certainly put them on notice.

Testing with the linebackers, Turner measured in at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, with an 83-inch wingspan. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, had a 40.5-inch vertical jump, and a 10-foot-7 broad jump. He made it very clear that he’s a fast, explosive athlete, with the size to lineup on the edge in th NFL.

However, he isn’t just a workout warrior that dominated the spandex Olympics. Turner was just as dominant on the field during his years at Alabama. In 38 games, Turner recorded 120 tackles, 32.5 for a loss, 22.5 sacks, and one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

There are a couple questions, though, when it comes to the Saints. For starters, Turner probably won’t make it to 14. The other question is about his fit. Technically, Dallas Turner is an outside linebacker. New Orleans uses defensive ends as its edge defenders. However, that shouldn’t be much of a problem to overcome; with special talent, you make it work.

Turner’s former teammate Will Anderson had similar questions last draft season. Still, the Houston Texans drafted him, put him at defensive end, and he became Defensive Rookie of the Year. Maybe history can repeat itself with Dallas Turner and the New Orleans Saints.