With a lot of offseason left between us and the regular season, I thought it would be a fine idea to get you all caught up on the players that currently make up the 90 roster spots. You don’t want to be that guy this season who can’t hang with the rest of the group when talking about the Chargers players, do you?
Good. Then pay close attention and keep your eye on these posts as attempt to learn you a thing or two about each player over the next 90(ish) days.
College: Notre Dame
Years with Chargers: 2
Rochell signed a one-year extension earlier this year worth $645,000. He will be a restricted free agent in 2020.
Rochell was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 draft as a ‘tweener defensive linemen who was a little more “small defensive tackle” than someone who could consistently rush the passer.
But in between his rookie year and sophomore campaign, Rochell transformed his body by switching to a more plant-based diet and continuing his ketogenic diet that he started back before he was drafted. Overall, he dropped his body fat percentage from 23% to 16%.
With the newly acquired athleticism from his physical transformation. Rochell was able to step in for a injured Joey Bosa and capitalize his increased playing time by notching five sacks, six tackles-for-loss, and an interception this past season.
If he continues to progress and continue on this path of mental and physical transformation for the betterment of his career, I’d expect Rochell to be a key rotational piece for years to come.
There is an obviously huge drop-off in talent between Bosa and Rochell but that’s to be expected from a player chosen in the top five of a draft and a guy taken in the final round.
As much as I want to focus on this talent discrepancy, Gus Bradley will always find a way to maximize the talent and players on this defense, even if it means mixing-and-matching players into positions they don’t normally play (i.e., Derwin James on the DL, Melvin Ingram at off-ball linebacker, etc.).
The worst case scenario with Rochell would be finding himself in a starting role due to injuries and having almost zero impact on the game, whatsoever. He’s been an overachiever so far in his career so I don’t see that being the case, were it to happen.
Odds of making the final 53/What to expect in 2019
There is almost no way Rochell doesn’t make the team as he is locked-in as the backup to Bosa at the big defensive end position. Even if Bosa remains healthy the entire season (that’s obviously what we all want) he should remain one of the first players off the bench as Bradley tries to keep his players fresh late into the season with a heavy rotation.
My best guess for Rochell’s stats in 2019 are 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three tackles-for-loss, and a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage.
Fun Fact: Isaac Rochell is an avid photographer and you can find his work on instagram at isaacrochellphoto.