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Who is Rams rookie Kobie Turner, also known as ‘The Conductor’?

He’s more than just a nickname

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 23 Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl Photo by Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the third round with the 89th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft the Los Angeles Rams selected Kobie Turner from Wake Forest University. Measuring at 6’2” and 288 pounds, Turner is from Clifton, VA and he attended University of Richmond and then Wake Forest during his collegial years and now finds himself amongst the ranks of NFL.

Oh the places we can go.

He tallied over 170 tackles during his time playing college ball. He accumulated 15 sacks at Richmond and 2 more while he was a Demon Deacon. You can watch some of his film with analysis here. You can see Turner himself breakdown his own film here.

My understanding is that he goes by “The Conductor” nickname due to his proclivity in playing music and his ability as a leader on the field. I’ve read he has a fun conductor celebration when he makes a play. There’s a great article written about him and you can read that here.

That article has great quotes from the man himself including the ones below.

“One day in the locker room, we were dancing and playing music and I started conducting,” Turner said. “One of my teammates, the captain at the time, said, ‘that’s actually a really good celebration.’ The next game, I got a safety and started conducting in the end zone. And after that, it just kind of took off.”

He was duel major while at Richmond for Math and Music, and if you watch his post draft interview (if you can find the time), maybe you’ll disagree but he strikes me as articulate, intelligent and is very quickly able to communicate his thoughts. I can’t help but think his background in music helps his ability to quickly process information. All these skills should help Turner once he hits the NFL field. He really did consider going to college to pursue music and not necessarily sports.

“There was a time when I didn’t know whether it [was] football [or] music,” Turner said. “[It] was part of the reason I didn’t get recruited as much. My junior year, I ended up going on a lot of college visits trying for music scholarships. I went to college, actually, for choir instead of going for football.”

I think that right there speaks a lot to his versatility and talent. Whereas I think all these traits and experiences should help him, he will have to prove it.

Turner should be able to move around the defense and be a valued rotational player. According to the tweet below he doesn’t have to check-in at one formal position on defense. Respectfully, if he was dominant at one spot, then I would think he would be listed at that particular spot.

Due to his “smaller stature” his rotating on the d-line may work best so that Raheem Morris and Co. can line him up as a mismatch, and not allow him to get dominated by bigger offensive players.

Note: Kobie is big, but some of these players in the NFL are practically giants (some are even New York Giants) and Kobie’s size could be a concern against bigger offensive lineman. Say for example, the Rams first pick in the NFL draft, Steve Avila, who was listed at over 6’3” and over 330 pounds. Luckily for Turner, he and Avila are on the same team.

An article was posted recently speculating on how versatile the LA offense will be this year. I wonder if this defense will be as versatile as ever too. Utilizing motions, different formations/packages. This defense might not be a one size fits all power house, and perhaps with the versality of NFL offenses maybe a one size fits all 11 man unit is getting harder and harder to find.

I think Rams fans have been spoiled by having so many stars on defense who could and can excel regardless of the down and distance. After losing players like Leonard Floyd, Von Miller, Jalen Ramsey (that’s literally only a few), Aaron Donald is getting older, we may see a different defense in LA than we have been used to. Kobie could start as a big rotational piece and maybe eventually, be a big part of the defense. Little rotating needed.

My guess is that Kobie Turner was drafted to get better. As stated above he seems to be a rotational player so even if he were to “start” he may still end up with less snaps than someone who rotates in after he him. However there is a human element here and maybe Kobie excels and the Rams decide that they are more effective with him on the field than off it. Turner playing along side #99 shouldn’t hurt his growth and should take some pressure off the young player.

He’s an “older” player and that seemed to fit something that the Rams did intentionally and or how their board fell. Surely the Rams think they can elevate Turner to new heights through their coaching and training staffs. He’s already completed some life milestones beyond being drafted in the NFL, so he may be considered mature for a rookie.

It will be interesting to see how Kobie develops and it could be really fun to see him make a play and follow-up it up with his conductor dance celebration, and maybe he’ll be able to teach Aaron Donald something too. Though I don’t really think Donald need helps with his play or his celebrations.

Kobie’s new life in the NFL has already started and fans and observers alike will be able to share in his journey. Hopefully for “The Conductor” it’s a long and prosperous career before he one day retires, and maybe devotes himself full-time to his love of music.