Rams Sign 2 Defensive Rookies to Start June

Robert Rochell

Getty Robert Rochell returns the fumble for a touchdown against UAB during a 2020 game. Rochell signed his rookie contract with the Los Angeles Rams on June 1.

The Los Angeles Rams have squared away two of their 2021 NFL Draft picks during the first week of June, both of whom are expected to bolster the league’s best defense from last season.

On June 1, the Rams announced they have signed fourth round cornerback Robert Rochell to a four-year rookie contract. Two days later, defensive tackle and fellow fourth round selection Bobby Brown III agreed to his four-year rookie deal, first reported by Houston area reporter Aaron Wilson.

The dual signings of Rochell, 23, and Brown III, 20, now brings the Rams to seven of their nine draft picks on board. Third round linebacker Ernest Jones and fourth round tight end Jacob Harris remain unsigned.

Versatile Rochell Projected to Play Cornerback

The Rams took Rochell at No. 130 overall out of Central Arkansas. While playing at the Football Championship Subdivision level, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Rochell tallied 104 tackles, 28 pass breakups and 10 interceptions in 42 games. The Shreveport, Louisiana native holds two distinctions in his hometown and university: He’s the final professional athlete from the now-defunct Fair Park High School (the school closed in 2018) and he’s the highest drafted player in Central Arkansas history.

Robert Rochell, CB, University of Central Arkansas | 2021 NFL Draft | Official HighlightsRobert Rochell is one of the best cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6020, 200 pound defensive back is a stud in coverage and a beast on Special Teams. Rochell has the physical tools to be a superstar in the NFL. Remember his name come April of the 2021 NFL Draft.2020-03-29T22:40:18Z

Rochell was known for his versatility in high school. Fair Park High plugged him at six different positions on the field from quarterback, to wide receiver all the way to outside linebacker. Away from the gridiron, Rochell competed in multiple events on the track from the 100 meter dash to running relay races.

The moment Rochell settled at cornerback, he went on to become an FCS All-American for the Bears. His stellar play earned him an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Lance Zierlein of nfl.com compared him to 2020 Pro Bowl selection and another past FCS standout: James Bradberry of the New York Giants, who previously thrived at Samford University before becoming a 2016 second round selection. Zierlein wrote this assessment of Rochell:

A freakish athlete with outstanding size, length and explosiveness, Rochell has evaluators buzzing about his expected testing numbers. He typically works as a press-man corner but has all the tools necessary to play in a variety of coverages, including Cover 3, where he has displayed an ability to excel with his range and ball skills.

Rochell is heading to a Rams secondary spearheaded by perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey and the team’s leader in interceptions from 2020, cornerback Darious Williams. However, Rochell is being brought in to potentially replace top slot cornerback option Troy Hill, who signed with the Cleveland Browns during the 2021 offseason. Per overthecap.com, Rochell’s contract value is $4,170,928 featuring a base salary of $660,000 for 2021.

Brown III Bringing Humor and Added Beef to Interior Line

Brown III was taken ahead of Rochell at No. 117 overall from Texas A&M. Unlike Rochell, the 6-foot-4, 324-pound Brown III thrived in the always-loaded and highly-competitive Southeastern Conference, which has produced 11 college football national champions since 2006.

In Brown III’s final season with the Aggies, he collected three tackles from his defensive tackle spot in the first six games. He left College Station, Texas winning back-to-back bowl games: The 2020 Capital One Orange Bowl over North Carolina and the 2019 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl against Oklahoma State.

Brown III’s contract details include a value of $4,236,536 per overthecap.com. He also has a base salary of $660,000 like Rochell.

While Brown is described as someone with ‘violent hands’ and ‘strong leverage’ by Zierlein, he’s shown his jovial, humorous side while walking inside SoFi Stadium:

The Rams, however, are expecting Brown III to show his violent side while teaming with Sebastian Joseph-Day, A’Shawn Robinson and one of his favorite players, All-Pro Aaron Donald.

Inside the Draft: Adding 'tough' Bobby Brown III | Ep. 4Go inside virtual draft meetings as the Los Angeles Rams prepare to draft the 'strong' and 'tough' Texas A&M DT Bobby Brown III. Subscribe to the LA Rams Channel: bit.ly/3d9IrHe For More Exclusive Content follow the Rams: Twitter: twitter.com/ramsnfl Instagram: instagram.com/rams/ Facebook: facebook.com/Rams/ Website: therams.com Get the latest on the LA Rams news, photos, and…2021-05-11T17:22:19Z
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