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2021 NFL Draft Profile: Payton Turner, Houston

If you need a player with tremendous upside, Payton Turner’s your guy.

Houston v Tulane Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

DE Payton Turner, Houston Cougars

HEIGHT: 6’5”



HANDS: 10.25”

SMU v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images


STRENGTHS: Payton Turner might be one of the best values in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s a player who still has room for development, but he’s also not completely raw as a prospect. He’s worked well to improve his bend around the edge, combining that with his explosive power that he uses to bull rush the tackle in front of him. His power also helps him shed blockers when engaged, freeing him up to attack the ball carrier. He also has underrated athleticism who’s capable of adapting to something new presented to him in his pass rush or when stopping the run. Defensive line coach Brian Early helped mold him into a more complete player, and help unveil his explosive play even more, especially at the snap.

WEAKNESSES: He’s still fairly raw as a player. The upside outweighs the concern at this point, as he’s farther along than most players like him. He’s still learning how to become more consistent as an end, but at least got one year of solid coaching before turning pro. He can play upright too much at times, so he’ll need to fix that if he wants to compete consistently in the trenches at the next level.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Payton Turner is one of the most underrated prospects in this draft class. He still has plenty of room to grow as a player, and the right coach can unlock his potential. We’ve seen only a little bit of his ceiling and, while he’s still learning how to play his position, the team drafting him should only focus on what he could do instead of what he can’t do yet. He’s already taken huge steps over the last year, and he can go even higher. It just will take one team to see what he has to offer, and find a way to take him to the next level.