Thanks to their promising pair of edge rushers and a more aggressive pressure scheme, the Broncos were able to generate a pass rush last season without Von Miller. Bradley Chubb made the Pro Bowl while Malik Reed finished with 31 individual pass pressures as Vic Fangio adjusted to life without his future Hall of Famer.
Going forward, there are a number of questions.
Chubb enters the last season of his rookie contract while questions remain about Miller’s long-term future with the Broncos. Reed is set to become a Restricted Free Agent in 2022, and 2020 seventh rounder Derrek Tuszka is the only other outside linebacker on the roster. There is little doubt the Broncos will look to add another edge defender to the roster in the NFL Draft.
Should it be Quincy Roche?
At a glance:
Quincy Roche has come a long way. Lightly recruited out of high school, he chose the Temple Owls over offers from Appalachian State and Toledo and transferred to Miami after he earned his degree. When he left New Town High School he weighed in at a paltry 200 lbs. He’ll enter the league 6’2” and 245. Over the years he’s blossomed into a versatile edge rusher who can play in space and bend the arc.
Why he fits the Broncos
- Started 27 of 49 games across his time with Temple and Miami.
- 54 tackles for a loss, 30.5 sacks, 145 individual pressures, eight deflections, and three blocked kicks in collegiate career.
- While undersized, he added weight to his frame over his lone season with the Hurricanes and may yet have room to grow.
- Over the last three years he’s rushed from a 3-point stance on 58% of his snaps.
- Solid athlete with solid agility, lateral quickness and good explosiveness. Ankle flexion is solid and he shows the flexibility to make himself small as he bends the arc.
- Good mental processing, he’s quick to identify the action and shows a feel for what’s coming from his opponent. Doesn’t look lost in coverage.
- Good burst from both a 2 and 3-point stance and can threaten upfield.
- Try hard run defender who is at his best penetrating and chasing down the football.
- A good pass rusher thanks to his advanced pass rush repertoire, he’s comfortable deking off an outside rush to work inside. Moves include a two-hand swipe, rip, club, swim, and speed-to-power.
- Has been asked to drop into coverage and cover running backs in man to man.
- Very good use of hands and upper body flexibility help him to work off of assignments in the run and pass game.
- When he’s dialed in he’s very good in pursuit with the ability to slither through trash.
- His versatility, burst, and the way he’ll slip through the cracks could make him a good addition to games.
There is a lot to like about Miami DE Quincy Roche.... pic.twitter.com/fWv61wyMKt— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 15, 2021
Reasons for concern
- Brother died because of a Kidney disease.
- Already 23 years old. May be close to athletic ceiling.
- Undersized for an edge at 6’2” and 245 lbs.
- Arm length falls in 23rd percentile.
- Played 2020 with Jaelan Phillips across from him.
- Adequate play strength overall and can be engulfed by power.
- Wins as a pass rusher with finesse but lacks elite tools. Cornering will be more difficult against NFL athletes.
- Adequate run defender who will need to improve at disengaging from blocks. His ability to set the edge is adequate and he’ll give up the ghost to length and strength. Some Malik Reed vs. Buffalo type of concerns.
- Lack of length could limit hand usage and shrink pass rush plan.
What I’ve seen/heard/read
Per Sports Info Solutions charting: Created pressure on 11% of his snaps in 2020 and drew two holds. Notched 34 pressures in 10 games in 2020.
“Roche projects as a three-down starter, whose best fit is as a stand-up edge rusher due to this athleticism and being slightly undersized. He should shine on 3rd down, when he’ll be able to pin his ears back and focus on rushing the passer. Roche profiles as a sufficient special teamer due to his play speed, toughness, and tackling ability.”
“Roche is an easy player to admire with his ability to pounce out of his stance and never quit in his pursuit of the football. However, he is overly reliant on that first step, lacking ideal play strength and move-to-move sequencing. Overall, Roche’s average traits will be tough to overcome vs. NFL blockers, but he is the type of pass rush prospect who will make it because of his toughness, feel and effort. He projects as a situational or subpackage rusher.”
“Growing up with Tourette’s syndrome can make it harder,” Roche said. “But as you get older, you learn how to deal with it.”
“I love being around my family. Actually, I am glad I am the youngest because I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for them and they taught me how to deal with a lot of things. Tommy drives me. I knew how he felt about me and what I wanted to accomplish.”
Roche has packed the stat sheets for the better part of four years, but he’s very average athletically and doesn’t have the mass to consistently hold up at the point of attack. He’s tight in his lower half, which limits his ability to corner sharply when attacking the pocket. However, he’s limber in his upper body, which creates opportunities to slide off of blocks and make plays at awkward angles. His production should matter, but the athletic profile might push him down the board.
Roche is a true technician for the position that is polished with his hands, has great vision, and is a quick processor. While he is lean and has modest length, he overcomes any physical deficiencies with technique, flexibility, athleticism, and above-average functional strength for an EDGE of his size. If Roche truly measures in the 240-pound range, he will likely be viewed as a 3-4 outside linebacker, which is fine given his experience in a standup position and his performance in college. Roche has an expansive pass-rushing skill set and is a good run defender, making him a balanced defender that can contribute on every down. In the right scheme, Roche has the ability to develop into a productive starter that knows how to attack the pocket.
Roche is the kind of tape over traits edge rusher who could serve as a pass rush specialist early in his career. If he can get stronger and refine his pass rush moves, his versatility could make him hard to take off the field. In time he could prove to be a quality second banana if he learns can adapt to the athletic disadvantages he’ll face on a more routine basis in the league.