For any lesser NFL player, that would prove to be the end of the discussion. But for Los Angeles Rams nose tackle Kobie Turner, that is where the conversation just begins to get quite interesting.
You don't end up as one of the 2023 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year finalists by sneaking out from the shadow of a teammate, even if that guy is All-Pro DT Aaron Donald. Curiously, we discovered that rookie NT Kobie Turner was double-teamed more often than Donald in 2023. Getting double-teamed more often than Aaron Donald is a bit mind-blowing, as it was Turner who ended the season as the team's sack leader.
No wonder he ended the year as one of the NFL's DROY finalists.
There is so much more to this young man than only his quarterback sacks, He has power, speed, agility, and a nose for the football that very much resembles the play-making ability of Aaron Donald. No, he is not Aaron Donald yet, but he looks the part at time. Perhaps more impressive than his ability to tackle whoever has the football in his vicinity is the sheer fun and amusement he displays on the football field.
He has truly allowed the Rams defense to take it up a notch.
Like all rookies, Turner was getting introduced to offenses, offensive linemen, and offensive play designs for the first time in 2023. But in 2024, he will have a much better idea of what to expect, what did and did not work for him and his teammates, and will have a more robust arsenal of moves to use in rushing the quarterback. It's that rise in knowledge and experience that allows players to better even impressive rookie performances in Year 2.