Jamal Turner Scouting Report | Toledo TE | 2023 NFL Draft
As a multi-sport standout at Carver High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Jamal Turner was a three-star recruit and 73rd-ranked Tight End prospect in the Class of 2017.
Turner accumulated 931 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns during his two varsity seasons at Carver. In Turner’s senior season, he posted 603 yards and eight touchdowns as Carver’s starting tight end, helping the Wolverines reach the first round of the AHSAA Class 6 Playoffs in 2016.
Turner also shined as the starting power forward for Carver’s basketball team, recording 23.3 points and 14 rebounds over his sophomore and junior seasons. In 2015, Turner led the Wolverines to a 34-10 record and an AHSAA State Championship victory against Huntsville-Lee High School.
Despite establishing himself as one of the top athletes in Montgomery County during his time at Carver, Turner went under-recruited as a football and basketball prospect. As a junior, Turner earned an offer to play Division I basketball at Alabama State but never received another basketball offer throughout the rest of his high school career. Fortunately for Turner, he received a late scholarship offer to play college football at the FBS level from the Toledo Rockets and Head Coach Jason Candle. Turner went on to sign his letter of intent to play for Toledo on February 1st, 2017.
As a 6-foot-6, 230-pound developmental tight end, Turner used the 2017 season to redshirt and maintain an extra year of eligibility.
During the 2018 season, Turner experienced an increase in playing time, appearing in nine games and totaling two receptions for 24 yards.
In 2019, Turner would perform similarly as he did during the redshirt freshman campaign, playing nine games and recording one reception for seven yards.
Turner became a mainstay on Toledo’s offense during the 2020 campaign. In a shortened six-game season, Turner started all six games for the Rockets, accumulating six receptions and 81 yards and helping Toledo finish the year with a 4-2 record.
As a redshirt junior in 2021, Turner appeared in all 13 games for Toledo, including eight starts, and posted eight receptions, 87 yards, and one touchdown.
In his sixth and final season at Toledo, Turner had his best statistical season as a member of the Rockets football program, accumulating 29 receptions, 378 yards, and eight touchdowns. In a season that saw Toledo win its first MAC Championship in five seasons, Turner was an impact blocker and pass catcher for the Rockets, finishing the season with the second-most touchdowns and fourth-most receiving yards on the team.
Overall, Turner appeared in 50 games and collected 46 receptions, 577 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns over six seasons at Toledo.
Jamal Turner is an intriguing tight-end prospect with great size, high-athletic upside, strong ball skills, and proficient run and pass-blocking capabilities.
At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Turner possesses a slender, athletic build and has the growth potential to add at least ten more pounds of mass to his well-developed frame. During his time at Toledo, Turner weighed in at as much as 255 pounds, so he’s proven the ability to add/drop weight when necessary.
Turner’s size, athleticism, and ball skills present an unfavorable matchup for defensive backs when he is lined up outside as a flex tight end. To go along with his excellent arm length, Turner boasts soft hands and fluid body control, which enable him to dominate smaller defensive backs at the catch point. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and presents a big target for quarterbacks at all three levels. Turner has good value as a red zone threat and safety valve in the flat.
As an athlete, Turner has an explosive lower half, great knee and ankle flexibility, and sneaky straight-line speed. For an athlete of Turner’s size and stature, he is a smooth mover with who moves well with the ball in his hands. Turner’s speed and effective twitch make him a tough assignment to bring down in the open field, helping him to extend plays by accumulating yards after the catch. Telling by his straight-line speed on tape, Turner will likely run in the 40-yard dash in the high-4.6 or low-4.7 range at Toledo’s Pro Day in late March.
Throughout his six years at Toledo, Turner improved massively as a run blocker. Although he still displays some inconsistency with his hand placement and footwork, Turner plays with great instincts, leverage/bend, and play strength at the point of attack, allowing him to sustain blocks and open up holes in the run game. Turner’s quick get-off and deft short-area quickness enable him to efficiently pull along the line of scrimmage to kick out EDGE defenders on outside runs. With a high motor and good tenacity and physicality as a blocker, Turner should garner some attention at the H-back position as well.
Turner appears limited by an average route running ability and an under-developed route tree. Turner has a sufficient release when transitioning out of his three-point stance and struggles to create separation at the top of the route on intermediate, in-breaking routes. However, Turner creates more separation when he can use his straight-line speed to distance himself from less-athletic outside linebackers on vertical concepts down the seam or along the boundary.
As an NFL Draft prospect, Turner is far from a finished product. He is still raw from a route-running perspective and will likely need some time to add mass to his frame. Turner’s lack of production is another concern in his draft profile but makes sense considering that he still needed time to develop as a tight end early in his Toledo career. Turner will also need some time to adjust to the speed of the NFL game and polish his technique as a pass catcher and run blocker.
Still, there is plenty to like about Turner when referencing his height, athletic potential, ball skills, red zone value, and viability as a run blocker. Turner’s combination of size and speed also provides some special teams value at the next level.
Early 7th-Priority Undrafted Free Agent