Swiss Army Knife Zeke Turner stands out for Cardinals vs. Broncos
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals rookie safety Zeke Turner began picking up linebacker duties early in training camp.
Taking on a new role remains a work-in-progress for the undrafted product out of Washington, but now it’s a matter of whether Turner did enough in camp and through four preseason games to show that he’s worth further investment.
He couldn’t have done much more Thursday in a 21-10 preseason finale loss to the Denver Broncos. Turner led Arizona with 11 tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits.
“I just try to be that Swiss Army Knife,” the newly-minted linebacker said Thursday.
“Left it all out there on the field so just got to leave it in God’s hands and go from there.”
A late hit penalty aside and some fixes to make on special teams, his night was plenty convincing that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster.
Especially if Arizona continues to value the hybrid position that it has made mainstream in the NFL.
The 6-foot-2, 214-pound safety out of Washington profiled similarly to a former safety out of his rival school, Washington State product Deone Bucannon.
The Cardinals drafted Bucannon in the first round of the 2014 drafted only to convert him into a $ linebacker. It was a progressive move in the NFL that’s been copied since.
Now, Bucannon is the defensive signal-caller, having taken on more responsibilities after the departure of veteran Karlos Dansby this offseason.
And behind Bucannon, the Cardinals appear willing to continue work-shopping similar positional changes for prospects they see in similar light.
“He embraced it. He accepted the challenge and the change, and he performed well,” head coach Steve Wilks said Thursday. “Very physical, made a lot of tackles. Everything we saw coming out as a priority free agent.”