While quarterback J.J. McCarthy was the main headliner from the Minnesota Vikings' 2024 draft class, linebacker Dallas Turner out of Alabama already has fans in the league. The Vikings selected Turner after trading up from the 23rd to the 17th pick, completing one of the most notable first-round hauls across the NFL this year.

Houston Texans defensive end Will Anderson Jr. reflected on his impressions of Turner from the time they spent together on the Crimson Tide, via The Athletic's Alec Lewis.

“He’s one of a kind,” Anderson said. “He’s just so bendy and electric off the edge. The sky is the limit for Dallas.”

Turner was a decorated player at Alabama, earning freshman All-SEC, first-team AP All-American, and first-team All-SEC honors. However, just like most prospects, he'll have to refine his technique before rising to the top of his position at the next level.

“In college, you can run over people and speed by them,” Anderson said. “In the NFL, it’s more about technique. The tackles are more sound. They’re no more physical than tackles in college, but they just have better technique.”

Anderson may know a thing or two about adjusting to the learning curve, as he won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after getting drafted from Alabama. While Turner still has to prove his worth, it's a good sign that Anderson believes in his potential.

Will Turner have a similar rookie year as Anderson, or will it take longer for him to adjust?

If all of the compliments about Turner are true, the Vikings got the steal of the draft

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner poses after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the No. 17 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama's staff said eerily similar things about Turner across the board. In fact, three people specifically used the word “freak,” or a variation of it.

David Ballou, the Crimson Tide's director of sports performance, said “he's freakish.”

“He’s a freak from the standpoint of size, strength and speed,” said Ken Whisenhunt, who was former head coach Nick Saban's special assistant in 2023.

Finally, Coleman Hutzler, the team's outside linebackers coach, called him a “freaky athlete.”

The rule of thumb is that when many qualified people say the same thing about a player, good or bad, it's probably true. However, while Turner's athleticism is tantalizing, his game is not as refined as Anderson's was last season, via NFL.com's Lance Zierlein.

“Long and athletic with the explosive traits needed to become an impactful NFL pass rusher,” Zierlein said. “Turner’s first-step quickness and elite closing burst are important building blocks, but he still needs to work on his process from Point A to Point B… Turner’s frame and game are much less developed than Will Anderson Jr.’s coming out of Alabama last year, so it could take time for him to make his mark as a starting 3-4 outside linebacker.”

When considering the full picture, it's probably best to not expect Turner to become prime Nick Bosa right away. However, his physical traits give him the foundation he needs to eventually become a perennial Pro Bowler. As long as he stays healthy, there's no reason to believe that he can't be a major difference-maker by year three.