Kobie Turner film study: Is Rams DT the ‘next big thing’?

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A film study on Rams defensive tackle Kobie Turner wonders if he’s the next big thing

If the Los Angeles Rams had suspicions that Aaron Donald could retire by 2024, then perhaps that is why Les Snead and Sean McVay made sure to get a player like Kobie Turner into the building while he still had a chance to learn from the greatest person to ever play the position. With the 89th pick in the 2023 draft, the Rams selected Kobie Turner out of Wake Forest after a season in which he had 10 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles in 13 games.

But that was not even as good as the rookie season that Turner had in the NFL last year.

Playing in over 50% of the snaps from the jump and getting to play next to Donald, Turner posted nine sacks in his rookie season with L.A.. He compiled eight of those nine sacks in the second half of the year and that should give fans some confidence that without comparing him to the GOAT, Kobie Turner is a better prospect to develop at the position than at least 90% of other defensive tackles who are in their first, second, or third seasons.

There’s been some speculation though that all of Turner’s success had to do with AD. What does the tape say?

Jackson Krueger Sports has been one of my favorite YouTube channels of late and last week he posted this film study on Turner’s first season. His takeaways?

Though Turner will never be one of the best athletes at the position like Donald, though he won’t be an overpowering monster inside like maybe a “Ndamukong Suh” type of the past, his technique has helped him win in the NFL similar to how he won in college despite all the skepticism that he’d be able to do that against bigger, faster, stronger opponents.

Here is a little more on Kobie Turner’s two “main issues” and why they haven’t held him back in the NFL yet:

There were two main issues that really hurt him. One was not film related, let’s look at the film related one first. You see a tight end blocking him one-on-one on this play. The tight end is kind of in position to make this play, but what Turner does a really good job of in the NFL and in college is using his hands. You see his left hand on the right side of the tight end’s body, watch him knock the tight end over. Other offensive linemen come to block Turner, but he’s already done his job. He’s done a good job.

But when the run ends up in his direction, he still make the play. This is a really high degree of difficulty play, having the hands to get the tight end off of you but still winning it so quickly that multiple other offensive linemen had to go over and block you, then when the running back tried to take advantage of that by running in your area, you still reach out and make the tackle. So the question you’re asking is, “How is this a negative?”

Here’s the thing: Watching the film, you look at a play like that and it’s easy to say it won’t work at the NFL level. In college, they weren’t these overpowering guys (like in the NFL). Turner isn’t a physical freak, he’s a bit under-sized despite being 6’3, he’s only listed at 288. So not the biggest interior DL. Rams fans know that Aaron Donald wasn’t the biggest guy either.

So being undersized and having those kind of wins (like I showed you against a tight end mismatch) that could cause him to fall in the draft.

But then you watch his NFL tape and you notice that shockingly the guy who won a lot in college also won a lot at the NFL level.

Kobie Turner now enters his second season in the NFL and his first as the Rams most promising defensive lineman.

In Krueger’s opinion, this could be the thing of nightmares.

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Title: Kobie Turner film study: Is Rams DT the ‘next big thing’?
Author: Kenneth Arthur

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