The Cincinnati Bengals’ long-term plans at several positions should get some consideration in this draft, but they can only pick so many players. There also are going to be players who don’t get picked who could stick to a roster for a few years.
The Bengals got a closer look at one of those players with Alabama linebacker Jaylen Moody, according to Aaron Wilson.
Moody appears to have the possibility to develop into a nickel linebacker on obvious passing downs. He isn’t going to blow you away with his size or speed, but he got eight tackles for a loss in 10 games last season to go along with his 50 tackles and two sacks.
Overall, he is a linebacker who knows what his assignment was in college. The major question is if he will be able to adapt to the NFL level and speed. If he can, he could easily become a Vincent Rey-type linebacker who sticks around based on special teams but could also develop into a nice depth piece after a while.
After the Bengals re-signed Germaine Pratt, it has become fairly clear how the linebacker group will shake out after this season. The team is very likely to re-sign Logan Wilson as they have highly valued him after taking him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft after quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Tee Higgins. Both of those offensive players are also likely to get paid.
Then there is Markus Bailey and Akeem Davis-Gaither, who are nice linebackers to have behind your starters. However, they will likely be too expensive for Cincinnati who will have to pick and choose how to use their cap space moving forward.
That is where an undrafted player like Moody could come in. If he comes in and shows enough promise as a special teamer, he could easily get added to the practice squad and then potentially fight for an actual roster spot another off-season against likely other draft picks.
Moody would be a low-risk addition that, best case, gives the Bengals an affordable solution for a future area of need.