Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: OLB Quincy Roche
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The Steelers used their sixth-round draft pick to select outside linebacker Quincy Roche out of Miami (FL) by way of Temple.
After losing both Bud Dupree and Ola Adeniyi this offseason, the Steelers had no choice but to address the depth at the outside linebacker position. Having T.J. Watt to fall back on is always nice, but now they are counting on Alex Highsmith stepping up and being a strong full-time starter this year in his second season.
Entering the draft, the only outside linebacker depth of note that they had on the roster was Cassius Marsh, a veteran journeyman who played in two games for the Steelers at the end of last season. Outside of Marsh, they only had futures signings and pickups from the Pro Day circuit.
Roche has been widely regarded as representing good value as a sixth-round draft pick, a ‘steal’ even, but whether or not that proves to be the case will be based upon his success or failure from this point forward.
The only thing we really know about him now is that he addressed a position of need, though given the current lack of depth at the position, he stands a very good chance of making the team, at least, odds better than average for a sixth-round pick.
He is reputed to be a good pass rusher who has an understanding of the craft, something that has been a necessary tool for him in order to counter his lack of elite athleticism. That should serve him well as he transitions to the pros, though athletic ability will always be an obstacle.
The good news is that they don’t necessarily need anything from him, at least right away. They do have their starters, and Marsh can function as a rotational player until he is ready to get on the field and contribute in a meaningful way. And they can always add somebody over the course of the next few months.