Roach started five games at linebacker as a true freshman, making 33 stops, eight for loss, and three sacks in 12 games. He started three (two at linebacker, one at end) of 12 games played as a sophomore (37 tackles, four for loss, two sacks). Roach’s junior campaign was interrupted by a fractured foot — he started three games at linebacker (24 tackles, 1.5 for loss). He lined up at defensive end for the team’s bowl game, just as he did in 13 starts as a senior. Roach was an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick in 2019 (40 tackles, nine for loss, three sacks, one blocked kick). Mike Roach, Malcolm’s father, was an All-American linebacker at Southern University. Malcolm’s community efforts include “Kicks4Kids,” which helped deliver shoes to kids in need.
Hands: 9 5/8”
Arms: 31 7/8
Good athleticism; possesses good quickness and agility when lined up as a 3-tech and in. Good get-off when he’s lined up in the proper technique. Texas used him everywhere at nearly 300lbs: standing up as a MLB, standing up coming off the EDGE and everything from 1 through 7-tech. He excelled mostly as a 3-1 technique where he can neutralize the double team at the LOS, or, in even man fronts, beat the OL to the gap and be disruptive. Good UOH upon initial impact to get the hands inside with good play strength to win with leverage as well. Texas used many 3-man fronts, and his good play strength allowed him to neutralize the LOS in double teams and free up blitzers. Does a good job using his hands and leverage to fight through traffic and takes good angles in his pursuit. Good effort in his pursuit when the ball comes to his side; shows good motor and play speed to track down ball carriers behind the LOS when the play comes to his side.
Arms on the shorter side, and the 20 reps on the bench isn’t an indicator of the strength that shows up on tape. When he’s put in odd, outside techniques, his get-off becomes slow and lethargic, as if he’s waiting for the play to come to him rather than being the aggressor we see when he’s kicked inside. Adequate finesse pass rush moves; lacks lateral quickness and finesse PR arsenal to consistently win on the outside. Poor effort on plays away from him.
Depending on how you look at it, Roach can be just another guy, or he can be someone that’s a solid rotational DL that can be trusted to win on early downs, and given the right coaching, can display occasional pass rush ability and cause a good amount of disruption in the backfield. Roach was used in sort of an odd way at Texas. Having not necessarily followed the program that closely, my guess would be there are just more talented players playing his natural position, but he still provides more of a finished product lined up as a 5-tech and out so he gets the starting job. At times he looks like an UDFA, and others, with the right coaching, looks like he could be another Maliek Collins. He’s got the strength and relentlessness when he’s moved inside to be a good rotational player playing through the B gap and inside. I like Roach’s fit mostly in an even man front, where his ability to shed blocks, play with leverage and demonstrate his good UOH can be on display, and set up his teammates better with his ability to neutralize the LOS, occupy lineman and create open lanes into the backfield.