Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada

Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada

Postby Pudge » Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:26 am

Nevada Senior
40: 4.44


Has a quick first step off the edge, with the burst to turn the corner. Shows potential to be a good bull rusher, able to get his hands inside and drive offensive tackle into the backfield. Has very good straight-line speed and can cover a lot of ground. Can make stops on the backside pursuit with good closing burst off the edge. Has enough speed to turn and run with wide receivers down the seam. Does a nice job due to his straight-line speed as an interior blitzer, firing through A gap before center or guard can react. Short stature does allow him to get leverage vs. the run because he can get under a blocker's pads.


Undersized and can get redirected wide around pocket by offensive linemen. Has a tough time disengaging if he can't win with his speed and tends to be one-dimensional pass rusher. Can be lured offsides trying to get a good jump on the snap. Doesn't do a good job getting off blocks at the point of attack. Not very instinctual when it comes to playing in space or defending the run. Lacks awareness when he drops off in zone, and slow to react to the ball. Gets caught overpursuing at times vs. the run and needs to improve recogntiion. Can get caught out of position on the misdirection. Doesn't take great angles to the ball when playing in space despite his speed. Doesn't really show hips to be effective in man coverage. Motor can run cold at times when the play is to the opposite field.


Moch is an explosive straight-line pass rusher that has top speed. He flashes the tools to be a very good bull rusher, but he's an undersized guy that is fairly one-dimensional. While super fast, he isn't super fluid or instinctual. The less thinking he has to do, the better off he is. While playing defensive end in Nevada, they got him plenty of opportunities to play with his hand off the ground and in space, but he's at his best when he's rushing the quarterback and rarely makes plays when he's not. Began his career playing OLB as a freshman in their 3-4 scheme, where he finished with 13 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. Moved into starting lineup as a sophomore when they moved to a 4-3 scheme and has been a force ever since. In three years, he combined for 175 tackles, 59.5 tackles for loss, and 26.5 sacks, 7 pass breakups, and 8 forced fumbles. Weighed in at 229 at the East-West Shrine game.


Moch projects best as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 because of his lack of size. He could be a decent situational pass rusher in a 4-3 scheme, but would need to bulk up considerably and he's already put on 20 pounds already this off-season. He could get there in time, but he wouldn't be natural around 260 or so pounds. You'd hope he could be a player similar to Robert Mathis. But you're better off keeping him at linebacker where you don't have to toy with his weight and his speed can be used as an asset. He's probably a guy that will take a few years to get comfortable because he doesn't show great awareness or instincts in space. But he has potential to develop if he can get a few years under his belt. He'll probably never be great in coverage or a great run defender, but he can be decent enough to get by as a starter. And the main thing people will be paying him for is his pass rushing skills. His bull rush has the makings of being very good. As he's developing, he can contribute on special teams and be used as a situational pass rusher. Then hopefully by his second or third year, he's gained enough experience that he can be trusted as a full-time starter and every down player. He'll work best in a scheme that will try to maximize him as a pass rusher. A player with his speed off the edge in a 3-4 scheme has the potential to be a double-digit sack guy, although it would not surprise me if he's more of a 6-8 sack guy. While there is hope that he turns into another James Harrison, something about makes me think he's more likely to be Manny Lawson. Although I think he'll be a more productive pass rusher than Lawson, but probably not as good in the other areas that makes Lawson a capable linebacker.


Moch has the speed to play linebacker, but he's not natural playing in space, and he would be a project there. While he could potentially serve as a linebacker on first and second down, and then move to defensive end on third down, he's a few years away from being at a point where he can be trusted on first and second down. Instead, he would be better used early in his career as a situational rusher. As he adds strength, he could start to produce in that role. But regardless of where you play him, he's not a guy that is going to produce early in his Falcon career. It's probably going to take the better part of three years to develop him as an every down linebacker, just like it would take a similar amount of time for him to get strong and polished enough to be more than a 20-snap per game defensive end. He's a project that could pay dividends down the line, but it remains to be seen if the Falcons can afford to be that patient.


Because of his athleticism and upside, it wouldn't be a reach to take him in the latter half of the second round. But he's probably a safer value in the third round.

1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Speed: 5.0
Tackling: 2.5
Coverage: 2.5
Point of Attack: 2.5
Instincts: 2.0
Pass Rush: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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