Thursday, May 5, 2022

Raiders poach explosive WR dedicated to Vikings: report

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The Minnesota Vikings almost had a steal in Virginia Tech wide receiver Tré Turner.

Turner, a sixth or seventh round prospect, was not drafted and was due to sign with the Vikings.

Minnesota announced it had reached agreements with Turner and eight other rookie free agents on Saturday.

But Turner, nicknamed ‘Big Play Tré’ for his explosive playmaking skills, pulled out after receiving an offer that eclipsed the Vikings’ deal.

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Late Saturday night after the final day of the draft, Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson tweeted that Turner would be signing with the Las Vegas Raiders after receiving a more lucrative offer.

“The source says undrafted Virginia Tech WR Tre Turner is now going to the Las Vegas Raiders to sign in place of the #Vikings,” Tomasson said. “Quelle said Turner is guaranteed a total of $40,000 with the Raiders, while Vikings had bid $2,500. Vikings have been informed that he will not sign.”

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A four-year starter with the Hokies, Turner is a speed threat on receivers, averaging 17.1 yards per catch in college as the school’s fifth all-time leading receiver. He posted career bests of 675 yards and 40 receptions and had just two drops his senior year. Coming from an athletic family, Turner focused on basketball for most of his teenage years, with older brother PJ Hairston being a former NBA first-round pick in 2014.

The Athletic’s Dan Brugler ranked Turner as a sixth or seventh round prospect. A slim receiver with acceleration but no top speed with a time of 4.51 40, Turner’s metrics are the closest comparable to Allen Hurn’s according to mockdraftables.

“Despite a poor quarterback game while at Blacksburg, he produced consistent receiving numbers, finishing fifth in Hokies history in catches (134) and receiving yards (2,292),” Brugler wrote. “Turner has been a basketball-focused athlete for most of his life, and it shows on the court with his ability to shape his holds and finish through contact. While utilizing pace as a route runner, he must improve his attention to detail to overcome his lack of ideal physical attributes. Overall, Turner’s lackluster skill level and separation skills are disappointing, but his above-average acceleration and ball skills give him a fighting chance to earn a spot on the NFL roster, especially as he improves on special teams.

Though Turner was absent, the Vikings landed a rookie wide receiver in Michigan State’s Jalen Nailor.

Nailor was drafted in the sixth lap as overall number 191 and is nicknamed “Speedy”. He had 86 catches for 1,454 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in four seasons with the Spartans.

Nailor measured similar speed to Turner and excelled in the vertical (80th percentile) and long jump (87th percentile) according to mockdraftables. He struggled with injuries in college and missed four games in his senior year with a hand injury.

Brugler praised Nailor’s playing skills as a gadget player, allowing Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell to plan touches.

“As an athlete, Nailor is explosive with the natural balance and acceleration to create after catches or make an impact as a returnee. However, he lacks pace and instinct as a routerunner, and NFL quarterbacks will quickly lose faith in him unless he becomes more reliable,” Brugler wrote. “Overall, Nailor has the fluid athleticism that creates conflict for defense, but he’s more of a gadget weapon than a polished receiver at the moment and you have to be creative in how you get him touches. Its lack of durability complicates its design projection.”

Brugler praised Nailor’s playing skills as a gadget player, allowing Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell to plan touches.

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