Browns Fits in 2021 NFL Draft: Payton Turner, EDGE Houston

The edge rusher that may look the part of being the ideal player to pair with Myles Garrett for the Cleveland Browns in the 2021 NFL Draft might be Payton Turner out of Houston.
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With the 2021 NFL Draft approaching, the Cleveland Browns will have their own tastes and board based on what they are trying to do in every phase of the game. Based on what is known about what they want to do, some prospects stand out as fits including Payton Turner, an edge rusher from the University of Houston

Age: 22

Height: 6'5 1/2"

Weight: 268 pounds (Pro Day)

Arm Length: 35 3/8"

40-Yard Dash: DNP

Vertical: 35.5"

Broad Jump: DNP

Shuttle: 4.31

3-Cone: 7.01

Bench Press: 23 reps

Turner shows remarkable agility for his size in terms of his hip flexibility. His vertical jump is impressive as well. He did not test the 40 or broad jump due to turf toe. 

Production: 17 solo tackles (5.9 percent), 10.5 tackles for loss (20.5 percent), 5 sacks (22.7 percent) in 2020

Physically, Turner looks like a prototype defensive end. Tall, broadly built and strong.

Turner played both as a stand up edge as well as with his hands on the ground and his length stands out immediately for good and bad reasons. His arms are extremely long and he's quite tall for the position, which serves him well as a defender, but he often stands straight up and it gets him in trouble.

In addition to what Turner offers as a defender, he has been able to knock down passes as well, knocking down eight passes the past three seasons. He's also blocked two kicks.

Turner has a good first step and is able to run the arc, which is great, but when he stands up as he's trying to turn the corner, he makes it so opponents offensive tackles can simply knock him slightly off balance and he takes himself out of the play.

Attacking at the blocker, he exposes his chest too much and gives blockers an easier time to stop him. There are some blockers that perform better than they should because of these bad habits. Far too often, his reps are all of nothing. He either dismantles the defender or is completely contained.

Turner allows opponents to knock him off balance and play high, which favors them. When knocked off balance, Turner doesn't go to the ground but he loses control and ground in the process taking him out of plays. That also limits his strength because he doesn't take advantage of his lower body strength by failing to engage his hips on contact. As a result, he looks weaker than he should.

The flip side of this is that Turner's dip move is effective because he gets opponents so used to setting high, he can flip under them. He has similar results when he long arms opposing offensive tackles because he actually does engage his hips and drives them back in the process. It's in these moments where Turner shows off just how good, how dominant he can be.

Turner's quickness is noticeable, so when the opponent can't get a good punch on him, he is often able to behind them. He can also get himself back into plays after being out of position initially, particularly chasing down running plays.

His first step can immediately position him for success and put blockers in a bad position, trying to play catch up the rest of the way. Turner can use his body to effectively box out the opponent as he pinches for example, making a play on the ball in the backfield.

Turner is fast enough to run down the line and can be a really difficult run defender to combat. He's good at staying involved and can chase down plays.

There's a ton of talent and potential with Turner. If he can consistently play with lower pad level, fire out of his stance with lower pad level and take full advantage of his hips to generate power from his lower half, Turner can be a really nice player for a long time that is ideal to play across from Myles Garrett.

He might best be suited to contribute as a role player in his rookie season, which is a situation the Browns can easily accommodate.

Where the Browns Might Select Him: Assuming he's available that long, the Browns would have to snatch up Turner likely with the 59th pick in the second round.

READ MORE: Browns Fits in 2021 NFL Draft - Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech