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Kemoko Turay, OLB, Rutgers

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-North Practice Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Career Notes...Utilized mostly as a rush end, Turay only started 10 of his 44 appearances for the Scarlet Knights, including nine assignments at strong-side defensive end as a senior and one more on the weak-side as a sophomore. He recorded 103 tackles (54 solos), but 20.5 stops came from behind the line of scrimmage (minus 130 yards), including 15.5 sacks for losses of 121 yards.

Turay was credited with 21 quarterback pressures, as he caused one fumble and recovered three others, returning one for 26 yards. He also deflected four passes and blocked three kicks.

Expected Draft Slot: Day 3

Turay Scouting Analysis

Turay has the frame you look for in a strong-side linebacker or rush end, but will need to add more bulk if a team plans to play him as a down lineman at the next level. He carries his weight well, showing good balance and body control working his way down the line and has the second gear to generate long pursuit. When playing on the edge, he keeps his pads down and head on a swivel, as he compensates for a lack of ideal bulk with active hands to deliver counter moves and slip off blocks.

The bigger blockers have good success executing reach blocks on him and he is not effective at splitting double teams, but, when isolated on the edge or playing off the line, he is a solid wrap-up tackler who hits with a thud. He has also developed swim and rip moves working inside, but is better at getting to the quarterback when playing off the edge.

Speed is his best rush move, but Turay also has great hand placement to slip out and avoid blocks on the move. He comes off the edge with a sudden burst and when asked to shoot the gaps, blockers are often surprised by his explosion through the holes. The thing you see on film since his senior year was that he combined his speed with efficient inside counter moves to pressure the pocket. Still, he had much better success escaping when he was twenty pounds lighter as a freshman (7.5 sacks/8.5 stops-for-loss among 26 tackles in 2014).

Turay has become a physical pass rusher who can flash ability to throw offensive tackles to the ground once he latches on to his opponent’s numbers. He has an effective inside rip move and as the 2017 season progressed, he showed violent hands and the ability to chop away at the blocker’s hands coming out of stance. Even while giving up considerable bulk vs. his opponent, he has the ability to drive offensive tackle back on heels and then swim back inside.

Turay does a nice job of locating and exploiting the seam when asked to stunt inside. Do not judge him on his performance at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, as he was dealing with a hamstring strain. On film, you can see that his initial quickness is slightly above average. Where he has problems is when trying to stack, as his lower body flexibility is just average and he can lose his balance when trying to bend back inside.

Turay’s closing speed is average, but he is an effective wrap-up tackler with the ability to take away the cutback lanes. He also demonstrates enough of a burst to shoot the seam and make plays in the zone, which is a requirement needed if he is to convert to linebacker at the next level. He has good ability to stretch the play. He can hold his ground in one-on-one battles with tight ends and lead blockers, showing some ability to stack up vs. the double team when he keeps his pad level down.

When he gets too upright in his initial burst off the snap, Turay will give up ground, as his technique then gets too inconsistent. He lined up at three-technique at times and his initial quickness gave interior offensive linemen problems, but he lacks “sand in his pants” to play too much over the head of interior blockers.

Some scouts think that he might be limited in space, but anyone that doesn’t think he is a good candidate to move to outside linebacker in a base 3-4 front needs to view film of his skill-set at that position from his 2017 season (see Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State games). The thing you have to like about him is that Turay can generate an above average effort when rushing the passer and will do whatever is needed to get to the quarterback with his second effort.

Because of his lack of great size and height, there were times in 2017 when Turay was slow in recognizing kick out and down blocks. When that happened playing vs. the run, he would get caught too far up field at times. Stamina is also a bit of a concern, as the high increase in reps last year saw him wear down some late in games (see Maryland, Penn State games), making him susceptible to a quick count and a step late getting off the snap.

Compares To...Yannick Ngakoue-Jacksonville Jaguars. Turay will likely be utilized off the edge, at least until he proves he can make the transition to the second level. He’s a flexible athlete with a well-built frame and lateral quickness to escape reach blocks and create perimeter containment vs. outside running plays. With his hip flip, he can instantly turn the corner as a pass rusher, but you wonder if he has the backpedal skills to cover tight ends and backs in passing situations if he is moved to linebacker.