It was Friday night and the Bengals selected quarterback Andy Dalton only hours ago. Many of us were satisfied through the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, having selected A.J. Green (arguably the best prospect in the draft) and Dalton, who was the team's backup plan at the time in case quarterback Carson Palmer followed through on his threat to retire if he's not traded (which grows more realistic every day).
With that out of the way, the Bengals needed to address other positions. At the time we viewed safety as the most critical, but positions such as offensive guard and linebacker (pending free agency) were also high on our list.
So with the team's 66th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Bengals selected Nevada defensive end, Dontay Moch, who transition into an outside linebacker. Moch posted 26.5 quarterback sacks in his last three seasons at Nevada.
Moch is expected to slowly integrate into the defense, first becoming a special teams player and possibly an edge rusher during obvious passing situations.
Moch's former defensive coordinator Andy Buh believes that Moch could easily make the transition from defensive end to linebacker.
"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.
With Dhani Jones and Brandon Johnson heading into free agency -- especially true if the league goes back to precap-year rules allowing four-year players unrestricted free agency -- the Bengals needed to address the evolution at the position. Rey Maualuga is expected to move to inside linebacker next to USC alum Keith Rivers, who will start on the weakside. Strongside linebacker will likely be a competition between Dan Skuta, Vincent Rey with second-year player Roddrick Muckelroy being the favorite.