Generally, 330-plus pound defensive tackles aren’t primarily used as pass rushers, but the more they are able to contribute in the passing game, the more valuable they are. The entry level of this is the ability to push the pocket and prevent quarterbacks from being able to step up and away from the edge rush – and Roy certainly is able to use his power to do this:
And as in the run game, he is able to use his power and natural leverage to target the gaps between blockers and force his way through to the quarterback:
In this way and aided by his good quickness for a man of his size, he is able to force double teams and free up space for the rushers around him:
Roy is almost certainly not going to attract double teams as a pass rusher in the NFL and this means that he will both need to show the ability to generate some pressure against solo blocks and also be presented with more opportunities to add value as a pass rusher. However, as in the run game, he needs to show far more consistent pad level and arm extension, as there are just too many plays where he gets too upright off the snap and therefore struggles to locate his hands with straight arms, making it all too easy for blockers to negate his power and secure inside hand placement to his frame:
And I’m really not sure what he was going for here:
It is also worth noting though, that as in the run game, he also has surprising quickness for a man of his size and uses his hands really quite well at times; while he needs to get better at the basics of being an effective 1-tech, he is able to do the things that should help to elevate him if he can get his pad level and arm extension sorted.
“Had he gone to the Combine, you know, at 330, [he] probably would have run 4.8 and jumped really high. He’s just a really good athlete,” Matt Rhule said about Roy after the draft. “I think as a result, canceled pro days, he never got a chance to show what he can do. But obviously we’ve all seen it, not just his play, but we’ve all seen his athleticism and I think that we felt really good about his versatility.”
Using that athleticism, he does a good job of working off blocks when he is able to initially keep the blocker away from his frame:
And flashes a nice little quick swim to take advantage of blockers over-committing to try and negate his power:
Roy is unlikely to ever be a major pass rushing threat, but like Kyle Love before him, he has a chance to be able to offer enough as a pass rusher that when he does see the field on pass rushing downs, he is not able to be consistently negated by solo blockers, thereby allowing the offensive line to effectively play 4-on-3. Overall, I think this was a good pick in the sixth round – while there are definitely things that Roy should look to improve upon, he should be able to add some value as a rotational piece who can help against the run and occasionally add some value as a pass rusher.
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(Top Photo Via Sean Gardner/Getty Images)