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Sep 21, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) on the sidelines against the Colorado State Rams at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama defeated Colorado State 31-6. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Alabama LB C.J. Mosley


Overview: Talk of C.J. Mosley going to the Bears has died down of late, but anyone who says they know what Phil Emery is going to do come draft day is a liar and I still think there is a chance that Mosley will be the pick.  He was highly productive during his college career and the last two were absolutely phenomenal.  As a junior in 2012, he led the Crimson Tide in tackles with 107 while also registering 8 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.  During his senior campaign, his 108 tackles were again good enough to lead the team in that category and also added 9 tackles for loss.  While Mosley did not record a sack in his senior season, that was mostly due to him dropping in coverage more rather than a drop off in his play.  He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and won the Butkus Award (best linebacker) in 2013.

Strengths:

  • Sideline to Sideline Player.  Flows fast and has no trouble beating most running backs to the edge.
  • Good instincts.  Reads and reacts well and doesn’t fall for fakes very often.
  • 3 down player.  Has superb coverage technique and ability for a linebacker and won’t often have to come off the field because of matchup problems.
  • Solid Tackler.  Wraps up well and strikes the ball carrier with force.
  • Great change of direction ability.  Surprisingly fluid hips show up in both coverage and against the run.

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to use proper shoulder when taking on blocks.  Gets spun around too much and takes on blocks head on rather than choosing a side.
  • Sub-par hands.  As good as he is in coverage, there are a lot of incompletions that should have been interception and even some that were batted in the air and turned into completed passes (see LSU game).
  • Durability concerns.  Had a plethora of injuries in college and  NFL teams will have to monitor the medical reports carefully.

NFL Player Comparison: Ray Lewis, formerly of the Baltimore  Ravens.  I know I’m cheating, but this comparison was just too good to pass up.  I don’t think Mosley will be as vocal or energetic as Lewis, but the physical ability is definitely there.  Both are slightly undersized but remain a force against both the run and the pass.  Like Lewis, I think Mosley has the potential to be a perennial All-Pro as long as he stays healthy, which is a big if.

The Way I See It: I think I would be alright with the Bears taking Mosley at 14.  I don’t think linebacker is as big of a need for Chicago as most people do, but Mosley is a rare talent.  I don’t have a large enough sample size of Phil Emery’s draft history to dread him taking players with injury concerns yet, so I’ll defer to him on that part.

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