Reason IV: He is in the right system, with the right mentor
Plenty of articles illuminate the attraction of young defensive linemen to play alongside and learn from All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, but the same holds true with young defensive backs and the opportunity to play alongside and learn from All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
He earned the endorsement of Jim Nagy, Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Whenever a player earns his endorsement, you can bet that the LA Rams have that player on their radar.
Rochell has been compared, athletically, to Ramsey. Not flippantly, and not ignoring that Rochell has a lot of ground to make up in terms of performance on the football field. But much like Ramsey, Robert Rochell is a rather athletically gifted player who, if he learns the right techniques and mindset, could be an impressive player in the NFL for years to come.
Rochell patterned his play after Ramsey
And he’s made no bones about the fact that he has studied Ramsey’s style of play for years, and has tried to pattern his own coverage skills along the lines of Ramsey. Now he is able to practice with his mentor daily and pose questions for him. It’s that pay-it-forward pattern of veterans guiding younger players along their way that accelerates their learning.
But it’s more than just what goes on after the ball is snapped. It’s everything that leads up to it as well. It’s the pressure before the big game. It’s the hours spent watching players play, configuring during and after those snaps which is the best way to defend? What are the keys to the play? It’s the ability to fast forward through countless trial-and-error outcomes to get to the right tactics quickly.
Rochell will have his opportunities in 2022. With or without the LA Rams’ addition of a veteran defensive back, the team will be looking to Rochell to contribute in a rotational role for the team at a bare minimum. That means that he has not been, nor will be, buried on a depth chart or scrounging around for his share of snaps in training camp. He is a gifted player in a system designed to optimize each of those gifts.