2022 NFL Draft Profile: Hawaii RB Calvin Turner Jr.
The Warriors standout has almost everything you can do on a football field, but will it be enough to hear his name called at the NFL Draft?
A true “offensive weapon”.
If you’re a college football enthusiast accustomed to late nights and the soft glow of a Spectrum Pay-Per-View stream, then you already know about the things of which Hawaii running back Calvin Turner Jr. is capable.
If you aren’t, then the first thing you should know is that “running back” is more of a misnomer for Turner Jr. than for anyone else in this year’s NFL Draft. A defensive-back-turned-quarterback at FCS Jacksonville, he arrived on the islands before the 2020 season and became a must-watch performer for the Warriors, capable of operating out of the Wildcat just as comfortably as he could take a handoff out of the backfield, run a fly sweep or haul in passes down the field. Oh, and did we mention he returned kickoffs, as well?
In increasingly diverse NFL offenses, then, it would seem preordained that some forward-thinking coaching staff could figure out what to do with an athlete like Turner. Does he have enough skill to hear his name called at the NFL Draft, though?
Measurables (taken from DraftScout.com)
Height – 5′ 11 3/8″
Weight – 197 pounds
40-yard time – 4.48 seconds (per NBC Sports Edge)
10-yard split time – 1.6 seconds
Arm length – 30 3/8″
Hand size – 9 3/8″
Wingspan – 73 1/4″
Vertical jump – 38 1/2″
Broad jump – 10′ 3″ (or 123″)
Shuttle time – 4.4 seconds
3-cone drill time – 7.14 seconds
Bench press – 19 reps
Want someone who can help you break new ground in your playbook? Consider that Turner was integral to Hawaii’s offense as a pass-catching Wildcat quarterback who can run and catch passes out of the formation, a zone-read cog, an actual halfback pass threat, and much more. According to Pro Football Focus, Turner Jr. had 535 snaps out of the slot, 149 out wide, and at least thirty more each at quarterback, running back, and as a returner of both kicks and punts. That’s versatility you can’t teach.
What enables him to do so much? Physically, he possesses good vision which allows him to identify opportunities for those big plays and the requisite explosiveness to make the most out of limited space, assets also noted repeatedly by The Draft Network’s Drae Harris with repeated use of the descriptor “elusive”.
It’s worth noting, too, that his vertical leap would have ranked behind only Iowa State’s Breece Hall among running backs at this year’s NFL Combine and, among wide receivers, it would have compared favorably to standouts like Memphis’s Calvin Austin III and North Dakota State’s Christian Watson.
In a March interview with Chris Rosvoglou of The Spun, one thing that Turner Jr. himself noted that he’s working to improve as a wide receiver, so any team looking for him to be completely polished in that element of the game will need to patient. He could probably hold his own out of the slot if called upon, but PFF also noted before the Hawaii Bowl’s cancelation in December that he dropped 19 of 126 targets in his collegiate career.
There may also be some limits to whatever workload he takes on in the pros, too. Harris expresses doubt that he’ll be able to run and win between the tackles because of durability and strength concerns, and both he and NFL Draft Buzz aren’t sold on Turner’s prowess in pass protection, either. Given a likely role as a change-of-pace/gadget player, though, this may not be a huge drawback.
Very few college football athletes get to do as much as Calvin Turner Jr. did for Hawaii, but the big questions is how much of that will translate to the NFL. Is he more like Deebo Samuel Lite or Alvin Kamara Lite?
Regardless, the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and out of the slot and return kicks is probably going to be too good for someone to pass up, so I’d predict Turner Jr. will be a late Day 3 selection, picked in the sixth or seventh round.