Grading the Colts’ signing of DE Isaac Rochell

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Kevin Hickey
·2 min read
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The Indianapolis Colts announced the signing of defensive end Isaac Rochell on Monday, marking the first outside free agent that Chris Ballard brought in for the 2021 offseason.

Grading players without having seen them take a snap with their new team is kind of arbitrary. It’s more of a projection as to what kind of production and value the Colts will be getting, which means it’s nearly impossible to know for certain how this signing will turn out. But we are going to do it anyway.

Despite it being the first move Ballard made in terms of bringing in someone new, it’s not a signing that should have a massive impact on the defense. Rochell is likely to be working in the rotation behind current starters Kemoko Turay and Ben Banogu while Tyquan Lewis would also likely see snaps over Rochell to begin.

Should the Colts draft an edge rusher in Round 1, there is also a chance that player slides ahead of Rochell on the depth chart.

The Colts had to address the defensive end room this offseason. They didn’t come away with one of the big names on the market, and it seems that wasn’t really in their plans all along. They had interest in some players but we know Ballard isn’t going over a certain value point.

So instead they went with Rochell, who’s a solid run defender while being limited as a pass rusher. He’s not the most athletic defensive end but does have the size to kick inside if the Colts need him to.

The contract is as expected. A cheap, one-year deal worth $2.5 million. So Ballard was certainly bargain shopping here for some depth.

In all, this move isn’t likely to have a massive impact on the pass rush—if any at all—while Indy was simply searching for some depth. In that context, and for the money they gave Rochell, the signing is fine. Rochell isn’t expected to be a super productive player and the Colts aren’t paying him like one.

It could turn out to be a decent depth signing so the grade isn’t impacted too harshly, but the upside seems limited.

Grade: C-

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