Buccaneers: Draft prospect Robert Rochell was made for Todd Bowles

Robert Rochell, draft option for the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Robert Rochell, draft option for the Buccaneers in the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images) /

Cornerback Robert Rochell and the Buccaneers are a perfect fit.

While most draft spotlights for the Buccaneers are focused on pass-rushers, running backs, and defensive linemen, there are plenty of players throughout the draft that can also help out down the road. Robert Rochell isn’t the flashiest name in the draft, but he and Todd Bowles are a perfect fit.

When one thinks of Todd Bowles’ defense, two things stand out: blitzes from everywhere and press man coverage on the outside. Those two tenets built a Super Bowl defense in Tampa, a defense that handed Patrick Mahomes one of the worst losses of his career.

The corners are expected to excel in these press situations, and Rochell would have an easy time moving into this system with the dominant Tampa secondary.

Robert Rochell and the Buccaneers make perfect sense

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Carlton Davis is on the verge of being one of the best man corners in the NFL, Sean Murphy-Bunting made waves as one of the most productive corners in the playoffs, and Jamel Dean may be the most athletic of the three. This trio could dominate opposing quarterbacks for years to come if all goes well.

Unfortunately, the Bucs have faced plenty of obstacles in the past. Injuries were an issue last year, and Tampa Bay will also have to figure out how to pay all three of these players in a few years. A draft pick wouldn’t mean anyone is replaced; it would just serve as an insurance policy against departures for any reason.

Rochell is about as low-risk, high-reward as a pick can be. As a clear day-three pick based on the projection of talent rather than NFL-ready skills, the Bucs would be using this pick on potential above all else. Fortunately, there is plenty of potential in Rochell.

Flying under the radar at Central Arkansas, Rochelle put together two great seasons in 2018 and 2019 with nine interceptions. Rochelle showed off excellent skills in man coverage, was confident at the line of scrimmage, and his athleticism is undeniable.

While highlight tapes should play almost no role in the evaluation of a player, Rochell’s shows off an extreme level of athleticism mixed with prowess on the field that screams Tampa Bay.

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If there was a coach in the NFL that could use talents like Rochell’s, it’s Todd Bowles by a mile. With a bit of refinement, Rochell could step into the fourth role for the Bucs after a short time learning from one of the greatest defensive minds in the NFL.

Everyone should temper their expectations on anything too crazy from a fringe seventh-round pick in year one, but players with longer odds have found plenty of success in the NFL, and Todd Bowles would only improve Robert Rochell’s chances of doing the same.

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