Name: Isaac Rochell
School: Notre Dame
Position fit: 5-technique
Stats to know: Registered only 19 knockdowns in over 1,100 pass-rush snaps.
What he does best:
- Rides cut blocks to continue squeezing plays down the line of scrimmage.
- Occasionally fires off the ball, capable of getting into the backfield in a hurry.
- Solid instincts, adjust his rush depth dependent on QB’s drop depth, tries to narrow passing lanes.
- Strong week rushing the passer during Senior Bowl practice and carried that success into the game with two pressures on 16 rushes.
- Stoned in the backfield by running backs in pass protection despite being unblocked off the line.
- Narrow base leaves him vulnerable to double teams.
- Weak initial strike, fails to deliver a powerful punch on first contact.
- Lacks an understanding of hand placement, attempts to shed blocks with his shoulders.
- Poor change-of-direction.
- Majority of splash plays came unblocked.
- Weak power rusher, struggles converting speed to power.
- Poor tackler – missed 26 of 176 attempted tackle in three years.
- Struggles sustaining momentum as a pass-rusher, plays high consistently.
- Minimal array of pass-rush moves.
- Easily collapsed by blocks on an angle.
- Frequently unable to resist giving ground vertically in the run game, too many ugly reps.
Player comparison: Spencer Johnson, retired
Rochell shares the frame and athletic measurables of former Viking Johnson, and chances are he’ll struggle to adapt to the NFL in a similar manner. Although he carved out a seven-year career, Johnson never emerged as a consistent pass-rusher. He also struggled to consistently disrupt opposing running games.
Bottom line: Rochell’s postseason circuit was compelling, he impressed at the senior bowl and enjoyed a very good combine, but those performances contrasted with his outings at Notre Dame. During the season, Rochell failed to display the technical development of a potential NFL starter. Despite his frame, his hand placement is all over the place and he struggles converting speed to power. Rochell flashes only glimpses of his measured athleticism, is easily overwhelmed by double teams and rarely finishes plays even with unblocked opportunities. Developmental projects are worth investment, but for only low-level resources