Should LA Rams kick tires on free agent DE Isaac Rochell?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

We know that the LA Rams are seeking help on their pass rush, but at a meek 3-6 record, does it make any sense for the team to pursue additional reinforcements now?  Well, we continue to see the Rams struggle against teams this season, both offensively and defensively, and those struggles have been both persistent and quite frustrating.

But rather than curl up into a ball and lick their wounds, the Rams’ ability to restock the roster for the future is more vital than ever. Right now, the Rams continue to press on despite eight players on injured reserve, four of whom are offensive linemen.

Despite the current wave of adversity, the Rams cannot take their eye off the brass ring. The team was left for dead after a horrendous 2019 NFL season but charged back to relevance in 2020 and to the pinnacle of the NFL in 2021.  Things change very quickly for teams in the NFL (a.k.a. Not For Long), so the team should begin preparing for a huge rebound.

LA Rams free agency still shopping for pass rushers

One move that makes a lot of sense is bolstering the Rams’ pass rush. And that means kicking the tires on free agents. One such free agent is former Cleveland Browns defensive end, Isaac Rochell. Rochell had just announced his release by the Browns, but that does not mean that he would not be worth kicking the tires on.

Rochell is a solid down lineman whose career has found him lining up at almost every defensive lineman position. Now in his sixth NFL season, Rochell was a solid contributor as a rotational defensive lineman with the LA Chargers. After his rookie contract expired, he has since played a season for the Indianapolis Colts, followed by a stint with the Browns.

His best season occured in 2018 when he played half of the Chargers’ defensive snaps and recorded 29 tackles and 5.0 quarterback sacks.  But he has contributed as a rotational player, starting just 10 of 69 games over the course of his career.

Gotta get a glue guy

Why should the Rams free agency team show any interest in a rotational player? He clearly is not a superstar, the elite type of player that fans have come to expect from the front office. But might that be part of the problem?  After all, while the Rams chased dreams of adding NFL stars like Allen Robinson,  Von Miller, and even Odell Beckham Jr., the team allowed the likes of Robert Woods, Sebastian Joseph Day, and Sony Michel to leave this roster. Those losses may not have happened at the best of the team, but from the ‘glue guys,’ the players who step up when the team needs huge plays.

Rochell is not an NFL superstar. But he is a high-quality individual, a former team captain at Notre Dame, who is all about putting in the work. That mindset of committing to practice and letting game performances take care of themselves is something that the Rams seem to be slipping away from.

Rochell may not be a guy who jumps off the page to a typical fan screaming ‘sign me!’ but he could be worth a look nevertheless. The Rams have four defensive linemen on expiring contracts, so the defensive line will most certainly be a positional need for the Rams roster in 2023. And that is exactly where Rochell can help the Rams now, and perhaps lend himself to get extended into next season and beyond.

Great character. Great work ethic. In the end, the Rams seem to be just fine with elite superstars. The team may need to bring in good locker room guys too. Whether or not Isaac Rochell fits that description has yet to be determined.

Which is why the LA Rams should kick the tires on Isaac Rochell. Let’s find out if he is a fit.

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