Skip to main content

Vikings DC Brian Flores compares first-rounder Dallas Turner to Dont'a Hightower 

As defensive players tumbled during the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings jumped up from No. 23 to No. 17 to snag edge rusher Dallas Turner.

The move wasn't cheap (they sent four draft picks), but the Vikings added a player many analysts pegged as a top-10 selection. Brian Flores' defense was upgraded with a physical playmaker to pair with free-agent additions Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel, both coming off excellent seasons.

Asked recently by Tatum Everett of the team's official website to name a player who Turner reminds him of, Flores cited another former Alabama defender.

"I was asked this recently," Flores said. "The name that comes to mind, and he was another Alabama player, is Dont'a Hightower. Big, fast, physical, great traits and intangibles, leadership. That's the name that comes to mind. I would say he's probably a little faster than Hightower."

If that comparison sounds familiar, it's the one former Bama head coach Nick Saban also made for Turner during draft coverage, noting the incoming rookie's position flexibility.

A 2012 first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, Hightower played nine seasons with the Pats, with Flores on the coaching staff for his first seven years. During his run in Foxborough, Hightower keyed three Super Bowl wins, earned a second-team All-Pro selection and was a two-time Pro Bowler.

Turner could bring more upside as a pass rusher than Hightower, but the comparison is notable, particularly as Flores looks to get the rookie on the field early in his career. Position flexibility in the Vikings' system could open the door for additional reps and allow Flores to get even more creative with his frontline pressures. Finding a way to get Turner, Greenard and Van Ginkel on the field together would make Minnesota's defensive front much scarier.

Related Content