The New York Giants struggled to produce a pass rush with their outside linebackers in 2020, primarily due to injuries. Starters Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter both went down with season-ending injuries, which left seventh-round pick Carter Coughlin and practice squad players to pick up the leftover reps. The Giants still managed to put together an impressive defensive unit, which recorded over 40 sacks on the year.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham devised an effective scheme to conjure a pass rush when the unit lacked significant talent at OLB. With Carter and Ximines expected to return in 2021, the expectation is that they will take a step forward, but relying on two injured players might not be the most efficient move.
That could lead general manager Dave Gettleman and the coaching staff to find a solution in the NFL draft, and one player could be a perfect scheme fit in the second round.
The New York Giants should consider Miami pass rusher Quincy Roche:
Roche previously played for Temple before transferring to Miami as a senior in 2020. In 10 games, he picked up 27 solo tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks. His sack numbers were down from 13 in 2019 in the American division, but he still displayed an impressive variety of pass-rush moves and an ability to get into the backfield. Based on his tackles behind the line of scrimmage, it is clear he is adequate in stopping the run and breaking through his assignment efficiently.
Quincy put together several nice reps at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday. One of them came against top-rated OT Alex Leatherwood, as Roche beat him on the outside with a speed-rush, attacking the outside shoulder and putting Leatherwood off balance. His hand quickness and ability to swipe OL hands down is advanced, and it shows up on film. He’s a prospect I could view Gettleman falling in love with.
Quincy Roche — projected OLB, nice speed rush to beat a top OT in Leatherwood here.
Could be a steal scheme-fit in Graham's defense. Stock ? pic.twitter.com/3eRxYXUPrx
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) January 27, 2021
At 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, he is a bit undersized for an NFL pass rusher, but he could fit the role perfectly if he can put on a bit more mass. Heâ€™s projected as a 3-4 outside linebacker, primarily setting the edge against the run and disrupting the pocket. In 2019, he earned AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors, which led him to transfer to Miami and continue producing.
Based on his second-round projection, it will take a year for him to get adapt to the NFL, but his upside is worth the risk. His experience as a stand up rusher is beneficial, and if the Giants continue to focus on stopping the run, he fits the mold perfectly. With good coaching, he could develop nicely and be an everyday starter on the defensive line, and God knows the Giants need a consistent pass rusher from the outside.