Isaac Rochell, the rock of Notre Dame’s defensive line the last three seasons, was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers seven picks into the seventh and final round of the 2017 NFL draft Saturday.
Rochell was the 225th overall pick
Rochell is the fifth Notre Dame defensive lineman to be drafted since 2013, joining sixth-rounder Kapron Lewis-Moore in 2013 (Ravens), Stephon Tuitt (Steelers) and Louis Nix III (Texans) in 2014, and Sheldon Day (Jaguars) in 2016.
Rochell is the third Notre Dame player selected by the Chargers in the last five drafts. Linebacker Manti Te’o went to the then-San Diego-based organization in the second round in 2013. The following year, the Chargers picked offensive guard Chris Watt in the third round.
Rochell was a durable performer for the Irish, starting 37 of his last 38 games in an Irish uniform and playing in 49 from 2013-16. The only two games he missed due to injury came at the end of his freshman season against Stanford and in the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers.
Although he recorded just 4½ sacks in those 49 games, he was a consistent force for the Irish up front, frequently bouncing between strongside end and three-technique, and even taking snaps at nose tackle on occasion.
Rochell had 7½ tackles for loss in each of his sophomore and junior seasons, and seven as a senior in 2016. He finished his eligibility at Notre Dame with 167 tackles (a career-high 63 in 2015), 22 tackles for loss and 27 quarterback hurries.
As a freshman, Rochell had a career-high nine tackles in Notre Dame’s home loss to Northwestern.