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Dallas Turner a heavy favorite to be first defensive player drafted

The start of the 2024 NFL draft is likely to be heavy on offense. Three quarterbacks — Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye — are likely to be the first three picks, and once the run on quarterbacks ends, a run on receivers with Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze could be next. Offensive tackle Joe Alt is also a top prospect.

So when will the first defensive player go off the board?

It could easily be eight or more picks into the draft before we hear a defensive player’s name called, but when it finally happens it’s likely to be Alabama outside linebacker Dallas Turner. At FanDuel, Turner has -210 odds to be the first defensive player drafted, making him a heavy favorite over Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell, who is next at +400. Florida State pass rusher Jared Verse is next at +650.

Turner was the SEC’s co-defensive player of the year last season and has the athletic traits to become an elite NFL pass rusher. That’s what teams are looking for, and he may prove to be the only Top 10 pick on defense.