The Pittsburgh Steelers are adding a former draft pick back to their offseason roster. The team is signing OLB Quincy Roche to a futures deal, according to New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard.
Out of Miami (FL), Roche was the Steelers’ sixth round pick in 2021. Beat out by Jamir Jones, he failed to make the 53-man roster out of the summer and was waived at final cutdowns. Pittsburgh wanted to sign him to the practice squad but the New York Giants claimed him off waivers. He saw extensive playing time as a rookie with New York, recording 38 tackles and 2.5 sacks across more than 400 defensive snaps. He had the game-winning sack/forced fumble to beat the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021.
Here’s what we wrote about Roche in our 2021 preseason evaluation.
“Reps were a bit hard to come by running third team ROLB all of camp. His game was hot and cold but his ability to rip through contact and bend the edge was by far the most impressive thing I saw. He’s a good technician and while he lacks great burst, size, and power, he’s a bendy pass rusher who works and fights hard to the QB. We have him down for four pressures on 36 rushes, 11.1%, with three of them coming in the Hall of Fame opener against Dallas.
Still learning how to consistently play on his feet and make the full-time transition to OLB and failing to stand out in a big way on special teams, he seems like good practice squad fodder.”
In 2022, he only played in three games, recording three tackles. He logged four defensive snaps in the season opener and then just two the rest of the season, playing more time on special teams.
He’ll serve as potential OLB depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, especially with Malik Reed a pending free agent. Pittsburgh’s depth behind their starters has been questionable ever since trading Melvin Ingram before the 2021 deadline. When Watt was injured for the first half of the season, the pass rush tanked and the Steelers’ pressure rate dropped by 10% compared to when he returned to the lineup.
In college, Roche recorded 30.5 sacks. He originally played at Temple before transferring to Miami (FL) for his senior season.
Check out our pre-draft profile on Roche below.
UPDATE: Roche and the Steelers have both made this move official: