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Bengals hope Moch can harness gifts at OLB spot

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Posted June 24, 2011 @ 2:26 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Bengals third-round pick Dontay Moch will be transitioning from defensive end, where he starred at Nevada, to linebacker. However, he doesn't completely lack for experience at the position.

"He's got some, not a great deal of reps at it, but he has game reps," Nevada defensive coordinator Andy Buh told PFW, noting that Moch had lined up at linebacker in all of the Wolfpack's games in 2010.

Moch, who was timed at 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and posted a vertical leap of 42 inches, will be used as a situational pass rusher and on special teams as he tries to master the LB position, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said on draft weekend. Buh, who is also Nevada's linebackers coach, believes Moch's speed and explosiveness can immediately create matchup problems on the next level when he lines up as a pass rusher.

"The faster you can get the ball out of a quarterback's hands, the better for a defense," Buh said. "That element you're going to have right away."

One of the keys for Moch as he learns to play linebacker will be getting more comfortable playing off the line of scrimmage, Buh said. However, the Nevada defensive coordinator said there's no doubt Moch has the ability to play the position in the NFL.

"He's got a lot of freakish talents that if they're further developed, he could really be a weapon," Buh said.

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