Updated: May 24
Heading into this year's NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers were in need of quality depth at the edge position.
With the 216th overall pick, they not only found a player that fits this criteria, rather, they may have found someone with a much higher ceiling.
Prior to transferring to the University of Miami for his senior year, Roche was considered one of the most dominant pass rushers in the American Conference, during his time with Temple. In 2019, Roche registered 13 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and five passes defended, and earned both American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-American status.
This past season with the Hurricanes, Roche finished second on the team in both sacks and tackles for loss (third in the ACC as well), playing alongside Chuck Bednarik Award finalist and first round pick, Jaelen Phillips. At his Pro Day, Roche put together an impressive performance, which included 23 repetitions at 225 lbs, while posting a time of 4.62 in the 40'. Admittedly, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler had Roche rated much higher, and was surprised he lasted till the sixth round.
Whether he is placed at defensive end or outside linebacker, Roche's potential is greater than his draft position suggests. If given the opportunity to use his repertoire of skills, he could find himself advancing up the depth chart very quickly.