Quincy Roche who was the 100th consensus rated prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft fell to 216th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL Draft. Pittsburgh projects Roche as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. On their draft coverage, ESPN analysts Louis Riddick said about Roche, watch him have 10 sacks.
Quincy Roche was a defensive end in a 4-3 defense with Miami and prior to that Temple. With the Owls, Roche was the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year with 19.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. At 6’3, 245 pounds, Roche’s size fits better as an OLB in the NFL than at DE. He is a pure edge rusher.
Roche had underwhelming numbers at his Miami Pro Day. The Pro Day and his lack of experience as a LB in the 3-4 likely caused him to fall. Roche ran a 4.62 in the 40, a 32.5 vertical jump, 23 reps at 225 pounds in the bench press and an impressive 9’11” in the broad jump. Roche joins a Steelers team who led the NFL in sacks in 2020.
Roche projects as depth in Pittsburgh for young edge rushers Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt and veteran Stephon Truitt. Highsmith is entering his second season, Watt his fifth. Roche projects as a situational pass rusher with Pittsburgh as a rookie. Watt led Pittsburgh with 15 sacks and Truitt had 11.
Highsmith will replace Bud Dupree who left for the Tennessee Titans in free agency. Roche will compete to be the primary backup at right OLB. Landing in Pittsburgh is a good opportunity for Roche to be a rotational player on the defending AFC Central Division Champion Steelers who finished 12-4 in 2020.
Roche was the third Miami edge rusher drafted in 2021. Jaelan Phillips was selected 18th overall by the Dolphins in the first round and Greg Rousseau went later on Thursday night, 30th overall, just inside the opening round to the Buffalo Bills. Phillips, Roche and Rousseau will forever be linked.