Football

NFL Draft Snapshot: Malcolm Roach

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40-yard dash: 4.84 | Bench: 20 reps | Vertical: 30 inches | Broad Jump: 9 feet 6 inches | 3 Cone: N/A | 20-yard shuttle: N/A | 60-yard shuttle: N/A | The Athletic draft grade: Rounds 5-6

Combine measurements: 6 feet 2.125 inches, 297 pounds

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What was Malcolm Roach good at? A lot of different things.

His versatility put him at an edge rushing spot in his freshman season before he found himself parked behind others on the depth chart at defensive end in Todd Orlando’s three-down defense for the next two seasons, not including a brief failed experiment at middle linebacker.

In 2019, he not only rose to the top of the depth chart but was named a captain. Roach was asked to anchor and provide opportunities for linebackers behind him from the 4i alignment, but he was able to find opportunities for himself at times too.

But what was he great at?

There’s a strong chance Roach would have further solidified his draft status had he played in a system more conducive to his skillset. If only he had another year for his own sake.

He identified this issue prior to the combine (where he posted an impressive 40 time), and hoped the new system will be more conducive to Longhorn pro prospects than the one he was in.

“We understood the reason why we were running what we were running,” Roach told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in February. “That style of play didn’t transfer to the NFL and the NFL didn’t understand what type of player this guy was. Or what type of player they would be getting because of the scheme we ran. I just feel 3-4 didn’t let us showcase our abilities the way we wanted to. But we understood why we were running it. I feel the 4-3 will help those guys to show their talents and more people will come out of Texas.”

Roach is right. 4i isn’t his best fit at the next level, being able to use his quickness and explosiveness in a four-man front is his best bet. However, in a draft where any data is precious to NFL teams, Roach does not have a lot of data for where he best fits at the next level. A strong combine does help, though.

If Roach’s name is called, it will be very late in the 6th or 7th rounds. However, Roach signing an undrafted free agent contract seems like the most likely outcome.

What’s going for Roach

  • Defensive captain in his senior year
  • Best performing 4i defensive end at Texas in 2019
  • Able to play multiple spots, stayed on the field for UT’s specialty sub packages
  • Strong finish to his career, 25 tackles, 8 TFL in last 6 games
  • Able to participate in combine with good forty time (4.84)

What’s working against Roach

  • Extremely limited amount of experience playing his NFL projection
  • Low sack numbers
  • Shows tendency to overrun plays
  • Athletic pass rusher, not so much a technical pass rusher

2019 Season Highlights:

Previous Draft Snapshots: Devin Duvernay | Collin Johnson | Brandon Jones