Has good speed and range and is able to make plays in space. Closes quickly on the ball in pursuit and is able to wrap up and make the stop in the open field. Willing to take on the lead blocker and will deliver a blow at the point of attack. Comfortable setting the edge against the run. Makes up for his lack of size by playing fast and physical. Has nice straight-line burst upfield to contribute as a blitzer up the middle or off the edge. Shows decent hips to turn and run with receivers over the middle. Comfortable in zone coverage when he can keep things in front of him, and has the speed to cover ground there. Sniffs out the screen and is able to chase down the running back in the flat.
Lacks ideal size and it shows at times when he's trying to get off blocks in space. Doesn't play that instinctually and tends to make up for it by playing fast. Needs more polish in man coverage and to develop a better feel for zone. Doesn't show great ball skills in coverage, late reacting to some throws.
Moten is very effective playing in space because of his good speed and range to cover ground and make plays. He is physical player for his size, but the lack thereof is going to be a much bigger issue at the pro level than it was in college. Was a playmaker at the start of his Maryland career, recording 50 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 5.5 sacks, 1 INT, and 3 forced fumbles as a freshman. Was slowed by a wrist injury the following year. Emerged as a starter as a junior at SAM linebacker, which is akin to OLB in their hybrid 3-4 scheme. The past two seasons in that role combined for 145 tackles, 15 for loss, 8.5 sacks, 4 picks, 9 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and a recovery in that span.
Moten played in a 3-4 scheme at Maryland, but he's best moving to a 4-3. His speed and range make him an intriguing fit for a Tampa-2 team like Chicago. The player he sort of reminds me of is Demorrio Williams, in that he plays fast and physical, which often can make up for his lack of natural instincts. I think if you put Moten on a team with a good MLB that can help him out, then he'll be a capable starter and occasional playmaker. His lack of instincts means that I don't think he'll be a reliable playmaker week in and week out, but his speed and range and physical nature will allow him to make plays vs. teh run and in coverage. But he needs to get bigger and stronger and probably get up to around 235-240 to maximize his potential. I think he could be a good SAM linebacker for a team like the Bears playing beside guys like Urlacher and Briggs. If he's asked to be your second best linebacker, you're in trouble. But if all he has to be is your third best, he should be fine.
Moten can fit in Atlanta because of his range and ability to make plays in space. He can play either outside linebacker spot, although he's more natural as a WILL in the Falcons system because of his lack of size. But if he were to bulk up he could play SAM linebacker like he did in college. He won't be great in coverage, but has the ability that with development, you can be comfortable with him whether it's matching up with backs, tight ends, or the occasional receiver. But he's not a guy you want coming in immediately and being forced to be a starter. If he can get a year, preferably two to sit the bench and develop a better feel, he'll be best off in Atlanta. But he may not have that opportunity. He can be a capable role player in Atlanta that can help fill in the nickel, spelling Lofton at times. But he's more of a poor man's Weatherspoon, that doesn't have the instincts to be a consistent playmaker every week.
Moten is solid mid-round value for a 4-3 team. A Tampa-2 team like Chicago might like him in the late third, but he's far better value waiting until the fourth or fifth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Point of Attack: 3.0
Pass Rush: 2.5
Scouting reports of the linebackers in the 2011 Draft.
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