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2011 NFL Draft: Linebacker Dontay Moch Will Improve The Bengals Pass Rush

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted a linebacker that will, according to Joe Reedy, start out as a special teamer and an edge rusher on passing situations. The move is likely in response to several factors.

Even though Carlos Dunlap posted 9.5 quarterback sacks in 2010, the Bengals sported the league's 27th best pass rush, posting only 27.0 sacks. Dontay Moch, who posted 26 quarterback sacks during his final three seasons at Nevada, improves the pass rush from the linebacker spot -- something that just hasn't existed for some time.

Dhani Jones and Brandon Johnson will be free agents once the new league year begins, opening a need for that position, especially if both leave for free agency. In response to Jones' departure, Rey Maualuga will move inside, opening an interesting rotation between Roddrick Muckelroy (against the run) and Moch (pass rush on passing downs) at strong-side linebacker.

Adding Moch with guys like Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins and Pat Sims, the Bengals pass rush definitely improved on Friday.

As for where Michael Johnson plays -- defensive line or outside linebacker -- it's currently unknown, according to defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. While Carlos Dunlap got much of the glory last season, many of his sacks were benefit from Johnson's pass rush off the edge, forcing quarterbacks to shift in the pocket towards Dunlap, who closed the deal.