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Can Giants’ edge Quincy Roche build on solid rookie season?

Roche was a nice find for the Giants a year ago, but there is now increased talent at his position

New York Giants v Miami Dolphins
Quincy Roche
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Quincy Roche, awarded to the New York Giants via waivers last September when the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to sneak the sixth-round pick to their practice squad, turned out to be an excellent find for New York.

Things are different in 2022 than they were a year ago when Roche arrived. There is a new GM. A new head coach. A new defensive coordinator. A shiny new toy at the edge spot in No. 5 overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux. A 2020 fourth-round pick in Elerson Smith who missed most of his rookie season but will push for playing time this season.

Can Roche once again be a useful player for the Giants? Let’s discuss Roche as we continue player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 245
Age: 24
Position: Edge
Experience: 1
Contract: Year 2 of four-year, $3.6265 million rookie deal | 2022 cap hit: $825,000

Career to date

The former Temple and Miami defender was chosen 216th overall by the Steelers, who waived him in the cut down to 53 players at the end of the 2021 preseason. The Giants pounced.

With Smith sidelined, Roche ended up becoming the Giants’ third edge defender behind Azeez Ojulari and Lorenzo Carter. He ended up playing 401 defensive snaps (42 percent) and making 38 tackles (23 solo). Roche also had 2.5 sacks and 14 total pressures. He helped the Giants defeat the Las Vegas Raiders 23-16 in Week 9 last season by forcing a Derek Carr fumble with 44 seconds to play.

2022 outlook

Roche’s path to consistent playing time isn’t as clear this time around. Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari, who had 8.0 sacks after being selected in Round 2 a season ago, are going to play a high percentage of snaps. A player like Roche will be looking for sub-package opportunities and to be ready to fill in if there are injuries.

Smith will push for snaps. The defense is different with Wink Martindale coordinating instead of Patrick Graham, though Roche’s pass rush ability should play well in Martindale’s pressure schemes.

Roche spent the spring in a red non-contact jersey, complicating any effort to see how Martindale might be considering using him. Roche, though, is a good, useful player. It will be interesting to see what role he is able to earn.