Trai Turner was described as a “hog molly” by Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettleman during a media conference call Friday night, shortly after the Panthers made Turner their third round (No. 92 overall) pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Turner, a 6-3, 310- pound offensive lineman from LSU, definitely fills a need for the Panthers, who lost four guards (Amini Silatolu, Edmund Kugbila, Garry Williams, and Jeff Byers) to season-ending knee injuries last season.
Byers retired after the season, as did another offensive lineman, Geoff Hangartner. Turner should find himself right in the mix for a starting spot.
Turner started in 20 games for LSU, including 13 last season. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting combine, clocking in at 4.93 seconds, which was the third-fastest time of any offensive lineman.
Turner described himself as someone who thrives in creating running lanes.
“Without a doubt, that’s my thing,” Turner said during the media conference call. “I love to run downhill. I love to attack the three-techniques and nose tackles and be able to double team and get to the linebackers.”
Coach Ron Rivera said that Turner should have plenty of familiarity with the Panthers’ running game.
“At LSU, his system was very similar to what we do,” Rivera said. “A lot of the calls and protections are the same. Our running plays are the same. That would make the transition easier.”