The best fit of any rookie selected in the 2023 NFL draft with their respective team and subsequent positional coach, has to be the fit of LA Rams nose tackle Kobie Turner, and the fact that he is being coached by the best defensive coach in the NFL, Rams DL Coach Eric Henderson.
While he has been splitting duty with teammate Bobby Brown III, he has seen playing time in all six games of the season so far, including one start. So far, his rookie season has blown away all expectations. In 236 defensive snaps, he has recorded 18 tackles, one quarterback sack, two quarterback hits, and three quarterback pressures.
That's outstanding work for a rookie nose tackle in the NFL
For comparison purposes, let's put Kobie Turner's numbers up against one of the most famous rookie nose tackles, former Kansas City Chiefs rookie nose tackle, Dontari Poe. In his rookie season, Poe converted 743 defensive snaps into 38 tackles, 0.0 QB sacks, three QB hits, and three tackles for a loss. He would go on to Pro Bowl honors his next two seasons, and even be honored as an All-Pro in 2013, his second season in the NFL.
Kobie Turner is on track to have an excellent NFL career
If we convert Turner's snap count to Poes, we end with projects of 57 tackles, 3.0 QB sacks, seven QB hits, and one tackle for a loss. That is a far cry better than Poe's rookie season. And just to clarify, Poe was the 11th overall player chosen in the 2012 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, Kobie Turner was the 26th player selected in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, the 89th overall pick of the draft.
For a comparison that is a bit close to home, let's compare Kobie Turner's rookie season (and his 236 defensive snaps) to the first two seasons of former LA Rams NT Greg Gaines. In those first two seasons, Gaines played 384 defensive snaps. Over that time, Gaines amassed 31 tackles, 2.0 QB sacks, one tackle for a loss, five quarterback hits, and eight quarterback pressures.
Using Gaines snap count to project Turner's production, we get 30 tackles, 2.0 QB sacks, one tackle for a loss, five QB hits, and five tackles for a loss. Now, keep in mind that we gave two seasons of Gaines career, and compared that to the rookie season of Kobie Turner.
We have witnessed just how effective OLB Byron Young can play in this LA Rams defense. But I assert that NT Kobie Turner is every bit as vital to this Rams defense. Stay tuned, as he could push hard for the third Rams player to earn NFL Rookie of the Week honors.