2024 Bears Draft Target: Charles Turner III
Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

2024 Bears Draft Target: Charles Turner III

by - Senior Writer -

In what is expected to be a busy yet exciting offseason for the Chicago Bears, the fans have already seen this team make two moves that signal the beginning of the future. In case you missed it, the Bears released eight-year veteran Cody Whitehair and seven-year veteran Eddie Jackson, as they were what most would call salary cap casualties.

Releasing Whitehair shouldn't surprise anyone as he was on the chopping block last season, only to be retained last minute. Whitehair was an excellent player for roughly five seasons, but his past few seasons have been inconsistent, so the Bears elected to move on from him.

Losing Jackson will hurt initially, but after looking back on his play over the past few seasons, you can see why. Jackson was once the best safety in the league, and once the Bears made him the highest-paid safety, he forgot how to play defense and became a liability. This team can't have players like that if they are trying to become great again, and now Jackson will be looking for a new home.

The release of these two players will now open up two more roster spots for this team to address, with both most likely coming via the draft. However, when you look at some of the impending safeties in free agency, the Bears may elect to replace Jackson that way and still focus on a center in the draft where several options are available.

One of those options would be LSU center Charles Turner III, as he has suddenly become a draft target for the Bears. The 6-3,300-pound Turner has good size for a center, but he has so much more to offer that makes him an ideal fit for the Bears and their offensive scheme. It all starts with his versatility, as he has played multiple positions across the line, but most importantly, he is one of the more athletic offensive linemen in this year's class, which is something the Bears love.

Turner is no stranger to having success, as he played for one of the more consistent and successful programs in the SEC. During his time with the Tigers, Turner appeared in 40 games, 26 of them coming as starts. While he may not have the accolades as some of the other linemen in the country, Turner still picked up the Outland Trophy Player of the Week and SEC OL of the Week while also being a Senior Bowl Participant this season.

If you haven't had the opportunity to see him play, you will be impressed, as his overall mobility and athleticism are impressive. He moves exceptionally well for an offensive lineman and does many things that other players in his position can't do. That makes him difficult to figure out and get around in-game action, which bodes well for the Bears or any team wanting to pick him up.

One thing he does better than most in this year's class is having the ability not only to take on the double team but also to manage to reach the second level. That means no matter how a team tries to take him out of a game. He can still overcome those doubles and do what he needs to keep a play alive. He's also faced some of the best competition being part of the SEC, so you know he is ready to take on the best the NFL offers.

There are some things that Turner will need to iron out before he can make an immediate impact, some of which are more physical than actual skills. Given his lean frame, Turner will never wow anyone at the point of attack, so look for him to put on some muscle once camp begins.

While being an outstanding run blocker, which fits the Bears needs for an offensive lineman, his pass protection needs work, which comes from that lean frame. Despite the overall athletic ability we mentioned above, Turner still needs to gain the foot speed to contend with the elite pass rushers of the NFL, which is where the pass-blocking concerns come into play.

Turner is a good blocker but struggles to be the lead blocker in certain situations, as he likes to get in space less than you would think. Most of these things are experience-type flaws that will be fixed sooner rather than later, but for the most part, he is the type of player the Bears look to add.

With Lucas Patrick and Dan Feeny being complete busts last season and Whitehair now being cut from the center position, there is suddenly a major need on this team after being further down the list last week. Turner is the ideal fit for a zone-blocking scheme due to his agility, quickness, and ability to create running lanes to get to the second level. He will need to add bulk and work on his technique to improve against NFL-caliber pass rushers, but he should be able to develop into a starter.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!