3 steps to rebuild Rams depleted DL despite a weak rookie class

Kobie Turner, Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Kobie Turner, Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Who is left?

6-foot-4 292-pound defensive tackle Cory Durden is back with the tem on a Reserve/Future contract. While he did not see much action with the team in 2023, I suspect that he will see as much playing time as he wants in 2024. Of his 44 defensive snaps in 2023, from Weeks 6-9, he was able to record three tackles. As it now stands, Durden will be competing at the defensive tackle position.

The Rams like what they saw from defensive end Desjuan Johnson in 2023. Hopefully, the team will enjoy what they see from him in 2024 even more. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 252 pounds, Johnson is a bit undersized for a 3-4 defensive end. But don't let that fool you. He is a powerful and passionate player whose presence on a football field is larger than life. In just 102 defensive snaps, he put up nine tackles, 2.0 quarterback sacks, two tackles for a loss, and two quarterback hits. I expect to bulk up for the 2024 NFL season, perhaps at 265 pounds, and be ready for a much larger role this season.

It's now or never for Rams defensive tackle Bobby Brown III. This is his contract year, and he finally had a productive season in 2023, platooning at nose tackle with rookie Kobie Turner. Brown is a powerful force on the defensive line, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 324 pounds. In 2023, he used 313 defensive snaps to put up 31 tackles, 0.5 quarterback sacks, four tackles for a loss, and one quarterback hit. Brown is a typical nose tackle, a big run-stuffer who gobbles blockers and gives ILB Ernest Jones room to roam and make the play. I expect Brown's workload will double in 2024 unless the team loads up with defensive linemen in the 2024 NFL Draft.

When the LA Rams drafted defensive tackle/nose tackle Kobie Turner from Wake Forest, some did not give him much of a chance. We did. Some believed that he was more 3-tech than 0-tech, and turned our projections of him as the team's nose tackle in 2023 as reason enough for criticism. Well, what do you think of him now, folks? He was the Rams nose tackle in 2023, and a darned good one.

We projected Turner as getting 50 percent or better defensive snaps in 2023. He played 697 defensive snaps, which clocks in at 62 percent of the defensive snaps. In the spring of 2023, we predicted that he would become a fan favorite. Less than one year later, that is exactly who he is.

Turner put up 57 tackles, 9.0 quarterback sacks, eight tackles for a loss, 16 quarterback hits, five quarterback knockdowns, and 20 quarterback pressures in 2023. More often than not, there was a three many footrace to the quarterback from Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, and rookie outside linebacker Byron Young.

Okay, so how can the Rams take what they have right now and adapt for the 2024 NFL season? Let's get creative and brainstorm: