Steelers Lose 2021 Draft ‘Steal’ to Giants

Quincy Roche

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Quincy Roche during Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at Heinz Field on July 28, 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers waived just one draft pick from their 2021 draft class. If the organization was hoping to bring him back via the practice squad, that is no longer a possibility, as 2021 sixth-round pick Quincy Roche was claimed on waivers by the New York Giants.

The transaction was first noted by Neal Coolong, senior editor of NFL sites for USA Today, who also notes that the Steelers were not awarded any players on waivers.

Quincy Roche: A 2021 Draft ‘Steal’?

As for Roche, he was selected No. 216 overall in this year’s draft out of the University of Miami. The Maryland native—who is 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds—was labeled one of the ten biggest ‘steals’ of the 2021 NFL Draft by Pro Football Focus (PFF), as PFF had Roche rated at No. 168 on its Final 2021 Big Board.

One would think that Pittsburgh wanted to sign him to its practice squad. It’s just that when he was drafted, the Steelers didn’t know that they were going to be adding outside linebacker Melvin Ingram in free agency, a move that was enthusiastically received by Steelers defenders.

Nor did they necessarily envision that fellow OLB Jamir Jones would play so well in training camp and preseason that he would make a very strong case for himself as the team’s fourth outside linebacker. Jones—the younger brother of former Steeler offensive tackle Jarron Jones—was signed in April. He’s a former undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame who joined the Houston Texans last spring but was released during training camp.

This year Jones caught the attention of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert at Notre Dame’s Pro Day, one of four members of the 2020 draft class that Pittsburgh (re)discovered at a 2021 Pro Day. But he’s the only one of the four—the others being Jarvis Miller (UMass/Penn State), Mathew Sexton (Eastern Michigan) and Tyler Simmons (Georgia)—who made the club’s 53-man roster.

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Quincy Roche’s College Career: A Quick Review

As for Roche, he was a very productive pass rusher in college at both a Group of Five and Power Five school, having attended Temple before transferring to Miami. He produced 45 total tackles—with 14.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks—in ten games at Miami last year, while also tying for the ACC lead with three forced fumbles.

At Temple he was even more of a playmaker, racking up 137 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss and 26 sacks in three seasons, plus six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks.

Roche was a part of 156 snaps for the Steelers during the team’s four preseason games and he recorded one sack.

Two years ago the Giants claimed another ex-Steelers outside linebacker on waivers, that being Tuzar Skipper, who went on to play six games for New York in 2019.

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