Bengals Linebackers: Dontay Moch and an Offseason Road Map

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August 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dontay Moch (52) and defensive back Taylor Mays (26) in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports


Moch, a converted three-point pass rusher from Nevada, took the world by storm with a stunning NFL Combine, in which he ran a 4.44 40, setting a record for defensive linemen. Although that is straight line speed, the Bengals felt strongly that he could play a role similar to Miller when they shifted him to Sam linebacker.

Of course, with a better coverage safety like Kenny Vaccaro to allow Reggie Nelson to spend more time in the box, the Bengals would have the luxury of spending more time in their base package. At the same time, if Moch can stay healthy and cash in on his potential, his ceiling is an every-down player at both linebacker and defensive end.

On the other hand, Moch has yet to produce a single statistic in his time with the Bengals due to slow learning, migraines and a lingering foot issue.

Do the Bengals write him off due to work ethic and time in the tub, or do they take the risk with Moch? It seems like the smart play to focus on positions of more dire need early in the draft and take a pure pass rusher, Greene/Brown-type player, a running back like Gio Bernard, or even a wide receiver like Quinton Patton or DeAndre Hopkins that would compliment A.J. Green, Mohammed Sanu, Marvin Jones and Jermaine Gresham very well.

Maybe they could take another developmental prospect late in the draft, but there seems to be more dire positions of immediate need. This is the year that Moch needs to prove that he is not snake-bitten and the Bengals would be smart to give him one more shot. A linebacking unit that features Burfict, Lamur, Dan Skuta, Moch and either Brown, Greene or Howard would be very capable of playing at a higher level than the Rey Maualuga-led group from last season.


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