Pro Football Focus (PFF) is a stat geek’s dream among sports websites.
It’s the living, breathing extension of football fandom’s takeover of American sports culture, with player rankings in just about every category across every single position, from college prospects to the pros.
While the website isn’t perfect in its player ratings and evaluations, it does offer football fans a comprehensive system for evaluating players in one of the world’s most complex, and at times chaotic, sports.
Recently, PFF decided to put the spotlight on one of the Michigan Wolverines’ most underrated players.
A former three-star prospect, he quietly did his job as well as anyone on the field last year despite not receiving a whole lot of attention.
Hailing from Bradenton, Florida, the redshirt sophomore is a testament to Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff’s ability to develop players into All-Big Ten caliber performers.
The player in question’s name is DJ Turner, and he turned in a far more impressive season than most gave him credit for in 2021-2022, as noted in a recent Twitter post by Pro Football Focus.
The post was retweeted by another returning Wolverines star, wide receiver Ronnie Bell, and is shown below.
DJ Turner led Big 10 CBs with an 89.2 Coverage Grade in press coverage ? pic.twitter.com/SLzjKCs8ue
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 25, 2022
With six starters from last year’s defense now in the NFL including superstar defensive back Daxton Hill, Michigan will need Turner at his best next season.
Listed at 6-feet-tall and 165 pounds, some NFL scouts question whether Turner has the bulk to become a high draft pick at the next level. Sports Illustrated has him listed as a day two NFL Draft pick in its most recent evaluations.
Despite these critiques, Turner showed he has what it takes to match up against the best of the best in the Big Ten, registering seven tackles against Ohio State in the Big House last season while breaking up passes and more than holding his own against a top flight receiving corps.
Turner is expected to start alongside Gemon Green at cornerback next season as part of the Wolverines’ projected defensive lineup.
Rod Moore and R.J. Moten are expected to comprise the safety group.
Will it be enough to go up against the stacked wide receiving corps of Michigan rivals Ohio State and Michigan State next season?
A lot depends on the pass rush.
Still, Turner is a proven defensive back who will enter next season as Michigan’s CB1.
Turner shows great spatial recognition, instincts, and ball-hawking skills in his highlight tape below.
Turner made plenty of big plays last season, and is sharpening his skills heading into the 2022-2023 season.
Turner has been active on social media lately, counting down the days to the 2022-2023 season on his Twitter account, which can be found here.
Check out the Michigan football hype video he retweeted below, and check out his player profile and game-by-game stats here.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) June 24, 2022