Potential Ravens draft target considers himself 'hybrid Terrell Suggs'

Nevada's Moch runs fastest 40 time for defensive lineman at combine since 2000

February 28, 2011|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

INDIANAPOLIS — It's debatable which defensive end or linebacker in this draft would be the best pass rusher for the Ravens.

But there's no question who is the fastest.

Nevada's Dontay Moch set an NFL scouting combine record for defensive linemen since 2000 with an eye-popping time of 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash. That beat the previous mark of 4.47 by Alabama-Birmingham's Bryan Thomas in 2002.

Moch, the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to get drafted as high as the third round. He's as productive as he is fast, averaging more than eight sacks the past three seasons.

"I consider myself a hybrid Terrell Suggs," Moch told reporters at the combine. "I've been mimicking his game since high school."

It would be fitting if Moch ended up with the Ravens, a team looking to find a pass-rushing complement to Suggs.

Many NFL draft experts consider Moch a work in progress and undersized (6 feet 1, 238 pounds). Unlike a complete pass rusher like Suggs, Moch relies solely on his tremendous speed to get to the quarterback.

Despite playing a defensive end in college, he doesn't see much of a transition to outside linebacker in the NFL because he estimated that he covered wide receivers about a quarter of the time. According to Moch, he once dropped back and broke up a pass intended for Boise State's Titus Young, who is considered one of the top five wide receivers in the draft.

"I do a lot of things that seem impossible, and I guess a lot of people see me as raw because of that," Moch said. "I just want people to see all the things I can do out there on the field and how I can go full force."

Finding a pass rusher in the draft is considered one of the Ravens' top needs. The NFL's 21st-ranked pass defense finished with 27 sacks in 2010 — the lowest total in team history — despite Suggs' recording his most sacks since his rookie season.

It was truly a one-man pass rush for the Ravens this past season. In 18 games (regular season and postseason), Suggs accounted for 44 percent of the Ravens' sacks.

Said general manager Ozzie Newsome: "Are we going to continue to try to bring in some other people that can get to the passer? That will be very helpful for the organization, and it's something we'll look into as we move forward."

It wouldn't surprise anyone if the Ravens used their first-round selection on a pass rusher. Prospects such as Wisconsin's J.J. Watt, Ohio State's Cameron Heyward, Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, Miami's Allen Bailey and Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan should be available at the 26th overall pick.

"We'd like to have as many pass rushers as we can get," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, "and there are some in this draft."

Notes: Casey Matthews aggravated a shoulder injury in his first event of the combine — the bench press — causing the Oregon inside linebacker to withdraw from the other workouts. Matthews has drawn interest from the Ravens, talking to team officials at the Senior Bowl and the combine. "It was just a freak thing," Matthews told the NFL Network. "It's been sore for a while now. Then, the bench put it over the top." … Adrian Moten continued Maryland's impressive run in the 40-yard dash, posting the fourth-fastest time among linebackers at the combine. Terps running back Da'Rel Scott still has the fastest time among all players. … The Ravens have given low tenders to six restricted free agents: safety Tom Zbikowski (third round as compensation if signed by another team), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (third round), wide receiver Marcus Smith (fourth round), safety Haruki Nakamura (sixth round), running back Jalen Parmele (sixth round) and Lamar Divens (no compensation).

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

In a rush

A look at the fastest 40-yard dash times (in seconds) among pass rushers at the combine Monday:

•Dontay Moch, Nevada: 4.44

•Von Miller, Texas A&M: 4.53

•Chris Carter, Fresno State: 4.62

•Sam Acho, Texas: 4.68

•Justin Houston, Georgia: 4.68

•Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh: 4.68

•Robert Quinn, North Carolina: 4.70

•Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue: 4.71

•Allen Bailey, Miami: 4.77

•Cameron Jordan, California: 4.78

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