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Purple Prospect Portfolio: Quincy Roche

Roche is a black belt in pass rush karate

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Maryland at Temple Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Quincy Roche (6-foot-3, 243 pounds at the Senior Bowl) was a three-star prospect and the 36th overall prospect in Maryland’s class of 2016. He committed to Temple, where Roche redshirted in 2016. Starting as a redshirt freshman, Roche racked up seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss playing as a weak side defensive end in the Owl’s defense.

Over his first three seasons in Philly, the Randallstown native racked up 26 sacks and 39.5 tackles for loss. In his junior season, Roche exploded. His 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss earned him AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors. Roche certainly had reasons to consider entering the NFL draft, however, he decided to transfer to the Miami Hurricane’s program and continue sharpening his craft against ACC competition. He proved more than capable. Per Sports Info Solutions, Roche racked up 27 pressures including three solo sacks and three half-sacks. His 27 pressures ranked 27th in the nation, despite Miami only playing 10 games.

Roche then earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl, where he showcased his advanced pass rushing repertoire and steady run defense throughout the week in Mobile.

Games watched: FSU 2020, Duke 2020, Clemson 2020, Virginia Tech 2020, NC State 2020, UNC 2020, SMU 2019, Memphis 2019.


Pass game:

Rushing confidently with his hand in the dirt or standing, Roche excels in both proactive and reactionary rushes. Aggressive tackles often have problems with Roche’s karate like hand fighting. His swats, clubs, swipes and rips combined with lateral rhythm and body contortion have put countless clean wins inside and outside on tape if tackles lunge at him.

At Temple, Roche bull rushed and attempted to convert speed to power more frequently than at Miami. His ability to make himself skinny combined with ankle flexion and rhythm make him a consistent threat to win around the arc and corner.

My favorite aspects of Roche’s game is his overall IQ and evident film study. He knows immediately when he can’t win due to slides or a sudden snap that catches him off guard occasionally. When those instances occur, he will take smart angles play side, put himself in passing windows and get his hands up, or drop into coverage without missing a beat. Because of Roche’s high IQ, he was often left on an island weak side with contain/run responsibility. This seemed to prevent him from aggressive get off quite a bit, but when he has outside help, he’s a menace off the ball.

He struggled to beat Christian Darisaw of Virginia Tech, who took a passive approach and had help from guards when Roche countered inside. Roche doesn’t possess advantageous size or length, but his IQ and black-belt level hand fighting make him a high floor pass rusher.

One area for improvement is on stunts/when attacking guards. Roche seemed out of sorts and lacked rhythm and timing in stunts, rarely generating pressure. He failed to activate the same lateral quickness he showed when simply attacking tackles. Instead of getting skinny, which he does extremely well on the arc, Roche often would just stack guards with his hands on stunts or if a late defender aligned to blitz to his outside. He needs to activate his lateral quickness and contort his body to beat them, the same way he does with tackles!

He’s deceptive in spot dropping, selling his stance before taking curl drops at 45 degree angles. Nearly picking off Trevor Lawrence but unable to complete a tough catch, Roche reads QB’s eyes well when he spot drops and displays decent understanding of where quick passing concepts will attack and prevents YAC.

He was often late diagnosing screens, rarely getting a beat on them unless playing a team like SMU that throws them every drive.


Run game:

Rarely out of place. Roche was tasked with boundary contain duties more snaps than not, and it took complicated counters to get him out of place. His hand placement is always consistent and quick. In his stance when expecting the run, he keeps a hand up and shoots it quickly to stack. Tight ends get controlled then tossed aside when the time is right, He sheds quite well with violent rips and a nice shoulder length base. The 23 year-old made countless tackles while tied up with blockers when his gap is attacked. Despite being undersized, he was never bullied.

Roche is conservative but consistent in backside pursuit, always anticipating cutback lanes. He has limited speed in the open field and knows it, so he immediately takes the best angles he can and works his way to the tackle party, but often a tad late.

In power situations (third or fourth and short), he’s a Tasmanian devil. Fires off the ball low and knows exactly what gap the run concept is attacking more often than not. Dominated Pittsburgh in power situations and had four tackles for loss. Strong option defender who can has shown several reps perfectly splitting the QB and RB, then exploding with strong COD and smart angles to thwart plays.

Quick to diagnose gap scheme and minimizes holes because he reacts quickly to greet pullers with force. Works his way through gaps calmly against zone concepts and can hold ground while keeping square if down blocked by tight ends.

Jet sweeps and unblocked situations targeting Roche as the force defender were a bad idea. In chess, it’s best not make moves that depend on how your opponent will counter. Against Roche, the same logic applies. Showing no panic when unblocked, he will see the jet motion and immediately attack the ball carrier with a good angle.


Summary:

Roche doesn’t have advantageous length or size or speed, but wins with technique and intelligence. He’s sturdy run defender who can win around the arc is a valuable skill set. Roche has put together an impressive résumé of statistical production, technical ability and durability. While his open field athleticism leaves much to be desired, his intelligence is evident in all aspects of his game. Able to make plays in coverage occasionally, his versatility and IQ are prescient of a high floor and immediate ability to whomever spends draft capital on him.

He’s “Temple tough” while also showing enough athleticism and polish to give ACC opponents problems on a weekly basis. Athletic limitations would be a concern if Roche wasn’t already so calculated and confident in his skill set.

Grade: Round 2

One sentence: “While his athleticism doesn’t jump off the screen, Roche wins with IQ and technique making plays in all three phases of the position.”

Scheme fit: Outside linebacker in a hybrid front.