Rookie DL Kobie Turner could become a fan favorite in 2023

Kobie Turner Wake Forest
Kobie Turner Wake Forest / Andy Mead/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The LA Rams have wanted to add some oomph to the defensive line for some time, and in many ways, this team has done exactly that. This defensive front is not going to resemble any previous configuration, by design. You see, the front office has determined under financial duress that the Rams roster can do without the play of veteran defensive linemen A'Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines.

Rather, this new defensive front will be led by All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who will be joined by the return of DL Marquise Copeland, T.J. Carter, Earnest Brown IV, Bobby Brown, Larrell Murchison, and Jonah Williams. But this group did add two rookies to the group via the 2023 NFL Draft, and that is why I'm putthing this article out there. One of the rookie defensive linemen has a real opportunity to endear himself to LA Rams fans. His name is Kobie Turner, and he could be a surprise starter for the LA Rams this season:

Kobie Turner is one of the players who definitely arrives in the nick of time to fill as a minimum, a solid rotational role for the Rams defensive front. The LA Rams selected Turner with the 89th overall pick in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, locking him into the NFL history books as one of the Top 100 rookies regarded in this draft class. Now, he simply needs to work hard and earn that distinction.

Ready to get to work

I believe that he is ready to do exactly that. After all, this is a young man who had Pro Football Focus's highest rating of any drafted defensive tackle in the 2023 NFL Draft. This comes despite the fact that he was not invited to the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. But he did hear his name called in the draft, and for good reason.

Kobie Turner has an infectious smile, very much like that of former LA Rams defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day. Unlike SJD, Turner is not blessed with ideal height, so he has to manufacture his leverage and opportunities in other ways. He does so by exuding youthful enjoyment and energy whenever he is off the football field, but channeling that same energy the moment he returns to the gridiron.

The real attraction is how swift and disruptive he can compete on the line of scrimmage. He has a style of a tornado in the trenches, a pale and inexperienced manner that resembles the carnage that his teammate Aaron Donald can cause to offensive lines. He's not there yet, but he will improve in training camp.

To understand Kobie Turner's collegiate football career, you have to compile his Richmond stats with his Wake Forest stats. When you do, the image of an interior defensive lineman who can penetrate to get quarterback pressure, tackles for a loss, run stuffs at the line of scrimmage, and quarterback sacks comes into focus.

Kobie Turner. 51. NFL Draft Profile. NFL Draft Buzz. Defensive lineman. Wake Forest. 89. player

Rams fans love tough defensive players, and Kobie Turner has all the makings of a tough defensive lineman for the Rams. It's way too soon to load up playing time pressure on this young man, but much of the reputation of the 2023 rookie draft class will depend heavily upon how well Turner can meet lofty expectations already in place outside of his control.

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He is playing alongside Aaron Donald for now. At some point, he could become Aaron Donald's successor. That is mountain of responsibility on this young man's shoulders. But if he delivers on that, he will endear himself to LA Rams fans for many years to come.