By: Shawn Williams
With University of Miami EDGE players Gregory Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips dominating much of the draft with first round buzz, LB Quincy Roche is often an afterthought, and unjustly so.
Roche is an athletic and versatile pass rushing prospect. He is a bit undersized, but more than makes up for it with an explosive and twitchy first step, quick processing, and a host of refined and technically sound moves that help him escape, evade and bend around much bigger offensive linemen.
The UM prospect is a bit undersized at 6’3, 240 lbs. He’s likely to project as a 3-4 OLB rather than a 4-3 DE or OLB. Although he’s a terrific pass rushing prospect, he’s also a balanced run defender. His size may make defending the run a bit tougher at the next level, but his ability to react quickly and his natural instincts give him the potential to be an impact starter in the NFL.
Roche had arguably the best pro day of his UM counterparts. He showed off his speed (4.42 shuttle/4.66 40/7.18 3-cone drill) and athleticism (9’11 broad jump/32.5 vertical/23 bench reps).
Roche played 3 years at Temple before transferring to the University of Miami. He finished his collegiate career with 30.5 sacks, 8 forced fumbles, and 182 total tackles.
Roche is currently projected in the middle rounds, with a ceiling of the 2nd round. He has been compared to EDGE Shaquille Barrett (draftnetwork).
“Best EDGE rusher in this draft easily as far as pass rush package…testing numbers confirm he is an athletic freak show”
- Louis Riddick
ESPN/Former NFL Scout
University of Miami Junior EDGE rusher Jaelan Phillips passes all of the eye tests. On film, he looks like the complete package. He is 100% scheme versatile, his stats speak for themselves, and his pro day affirmed the obvious, so what is keeping this “freak show” from being a consensus Top 10 draft pick?
Phillips came to UCLA (2017-2018) as 5-star recruit, bringing high expectations and creating major excitement for the Bruins program. He transferred to UM after two seasons, leaving inconsistent play, and problematic injury concerns behind (Wrist/Ankle/Concussions). Luckily, a change of scenery seemed to be all Jaelan needed. In his lone season for the Hurricanes, he stacked up 45 tackles, 8 sacks and an interception. Phillips was a dominant force, lining up all over the place (hand in the dirt, upright, in space, on the interior). He has all the tools to be a disruptor against the Run and Pass.
The UM Junior uses his outstanding size (6’5, 260 lbs.), length (83 ¼ wingspan), speed (4.56 40/4.12 shuttle) and athleticism (36” vertical/10’5 broad jump) to his absolute advantage. Jaelan should be safely entrenched in the first round of the 2021 draft, projecting to go anywhere in between 10 (ceiling) to the early second (floor), depending on how trusting teams are that his injury issues are behind him. He will be able to play for any team as either a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB. Draftnetwork compares Jaelan Phillips to recent standout Trey Hendrickson (now with the Cincinnati Bengals).