2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Notre Dame DE Isaac Rochell

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#90 Isaac Rochell/DE Notre Dame – 6’4” 282 lbs.

The Good:

– Gets a good punch and recoils his hands well
– Uses arms to disrupt passing lanes when he doesn’t reach quarterback
– Effectively stunts inside
– Fights through double teams
– Finds good leverage by getting underneath shoulder pads
– Powerful upper body helps him anchor the point of attack
– Solid tackler
– Natural five tech player

The Bad:

– Doesn’t have the best center of gravity which puts him in awkward positions
– Quick in a straight-line, but does not move laterally well
– Relies on power, doesn’t have pass rush moves
– Spotty vision
– Needs to follow up punch with a swim, rip, or some other technique
– Could get more aggressive to reach the quarterback


– Team captain senior year
– Started 37 of last 38 games in past three seasons
– Finished with 83 career solo tackles, 84 assists, 22 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and six pass deflections
– Ranked 9th by Rivals.com in his class for defensive ends
– Won a high school state football championship in Georgia playing the offensive and defensive lines
– Blocked a kick against LSU in 2014

Tape Breakdown:

Rochell gets a good punch into the blocker, keeps them off his body, and works down the line of scrimmage to find the ball carrier and brings him to the ground violently.

He gets off the line of scrimmage quickly, then gets double teamed by two backs. The defender splits the double team, throws one of them out of the way while stepping up into the pocket to devour the signal caller.

The defensive end gets too aggressive by coming too far inside; this allows the fullback to chip him out of position. This lack of contain opens up a wide rushing lane for the quarterback to exploit and eventually score.

The former Golden Domer is a natural five tech who fights off double team, anchors his position while reaching out, and mauls the running back for a minimal gain.

Rochell is a hard worker that can play up and down the defensive line giving the starters a well deserved breather. His lack of defined pass rushing moves limit him to more of a backup run stopper at the next level. If the defender can add to his powerful punch a swim or rip and go move, he might be able to contribute in a three down role. At this time, the former Notre Damer is a piece of clay that could be turned into a valuable defensive cog with NFL coaching.

Projection: Mid to late Day Three

Games Watched: vs. Virginia Tech, vs. Miami, at Texas, at Virginia (2015)

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Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoMitch Trubisky
Gareon Conley