As the 2017 NFL draft draws closer, we’re learning more about players the Cowboys are interested in. Most notably, they all seem to be along the defensive line so far. Recently, we posted about the Cowboys bringing in a couple of first-round defensive end possibilities in Takkarist McKinley and Taco Charlton. They are also bringing in a third-day guy in DL Jeremiah Ledbetter.
Another defensive lineman who they reportedly have interest in, but not necessarily bringing in for a visit, is Notre Dame DL Isaac Rochell. Rochell was recently on PFT Live.
As to the issue that always slides to the top of the stack in the weeks before the selection process, Rochell said he has attracted the most interest so far from the Cowboys and Panthers.
Rochell isn’t expected to be drafted until the third day. He ranks as the #18 defensive tackle at Walter Football, and the #25 defensive end at CBS Sports. This indicates what many scouts are saying, he is somewhat of a tweener and can work at defensive end or defensive tackle, or possibly as a 3-4 defensive end for some teams.
Several scouting reports make him sound like a fit for how Rod Marinelli has used some players like Tyrone Crawford, Jack Crawford and David Irving. A defensive end on the strong side to play the run who can also slide inside on passing downs.
Lunch-pail player from a blue-collar background whose effort and motor will make him a favorite of coaches he plays for. What Rochell offers in effort, he lacks as a skilled pass rusher, and his inability to get after the quarterback will create a difficult challenge for him. While his best fit might be a 3-4 defensive end, he could be viewed as rotational defensive lineman with little to no third-down value. Rochell has third-day draft value with eventual starter potential if he can sharpen his pass-rush tools.
Effort and motor, with the potential to play end or tackle, and he was a team captain at Notre Dame. For a third-day kind of guy, sounds a lot like the Cowboys profile for defensive linemen.