The Los Angeles Rams have gotten exceptional production from their rookie class this season, allowing them to stay in the playoff mix.
Throughout the season, the Rams have gotten key contributions from a number of rookies such as wide receiver Puka Nacua, offensive guard Steve Avila, outside linebacker Byron Young, nose tackle Kobie Turner and punter Ethan Evans.
Turner, in particular, has really come on in recent weeks to help the Rams’ defense. He had two sacks and two quarterback hits in the Rams’ Week 12 win over the Arizona Cardinals and overall has four sacks and 42 total tackles on the season.
Coming off his big performance in Arizona, the former third-round pick discussed how much confidence he’s gaining with each game he plays in the NFL, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Each and every week, I keep growing in my confidence,” Turner said Thursday. “The first week at Seattle, I was a little starry-eyed, legs were really heavy, I really felt like a rookie. But being able to get so many good reps, and then every week in practice feels like a game rep, a lot of times even harder than game reps, going up against BA (offensive lineman Brian Allen). Being able to get so many good high quality reps, I started to feel like, ‘Okay, I know what’s coming, I know what to expect.’ Now I’m able to just go and cut it loose.”
Turner set career highs in pressures (5), sacks (2), and pressure rate (22.7%) on 22 pass rushes while being double-teamed on 68.2% of the time in Week 12, according to Next Gen Stats.
The rookie is even receiving praise from Aaron Donald for symphony sack celebration:
“It’s him. It’s a little long, I think,” Donald said with a smile. “That’s his signature, man. As long as he keeps making plays, it’s going to grow and it’s gonna become something big for him.”
Having a mentor like Donald is the best thing possible for a young nose tackle trying to find his way like Turner. With those two and Young, the Rams have the makings of a quality defensive line moving forward, which will be key for their defense continuing to have success as they did in Week 12 against the Cardinals.