The Ravens Select C.J. Mosley

With the 17th overall selection in the 2014 National Football League (NFL) Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected LB C.J. Mosley from the University of Alabama.

(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)

alabama-blog.sportsprss.com

alabama-blog.sportsprss.com

Measurables:
Height: 6’2″  
Weight: 238 lbs.  
40 Time: 4.65 (Projected)

Strengths:
-Strong physical tackler who drives through his target
-High Football I.Q.; Rarely makes mental mistakes
-Blend of toughness and athleticism; Excels in pass coverage

Weaknesses:
-Inconsistency getting off blocks
-Inconsistent pass rusher
-Needs to add size to play inside; may be better suited as OLB

2010 Stats: 67 Tackles, .5 Sacks, 10 Pass Deflections, 2 Interceptions
2011 Stats: 36 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 2 Pass Defelctions, 1 Interception
2012 Stats: 107 Tackles, 4 Sacks, 2 Pass Deflections, 2 Interceptions
2013 Stats: 108 Tackles, 0 Sacks, 5 Pass Deflections, 0 Interceptions

BSL’s March Summary:
“Mosley is a multi-season starter with a strong resume playing against some of the best competition in the SEC. He would seem a natural to follow in the footsteps of many of his Crimson Tide alumni as a high draft choice. 

He brings a solid skill set to the table as he can impact a defense defending the run and is able to drop in pass coverage. He has developed into a three-down player and could be suited as the same in the professional ranks. His instincts will separate him from other prospects and he has the speed to cover enough ground be it in man or zone coverage as well as being able to blitz the quarterback.

That speed and agility could mean that he could play inside or outside linebacker and may be able to match-up against the athletic breed of Tight End that is found in today’s NFL if necessary. At first glance he doesn’t appear to have many glaring weaknesses. He’s an overall quality prospect who should be able to contribute right away in a lineup.

With the recent signing of Dennis Pitta in the rear view selecting Mosley would be an interesting choice. Now that the Ravens have their third down option would they be less likely to grab another pass catcher like Eric Ebron or Marquise Lee? The status of free agent Daryl Smith may also encourage them to go in this direction, as well as the recent cap departure of Jameel McClain. If they are unable to retain Smith who was such a difference maker in 2013, that would leave second-year player Arthur Brown and Josh Bynes as the top options.”

Scouting Report Links:
CBS Sports
Walter Football
USA Today
NFL Draft Scout
National Football Post
SB Nation (YouTube)
NFL Draft Geek
NFL.com

BSL Contributors comment on the selection:

Matt Jergensen: Mosley has the tools to potentially become a Pro Bowl player. He’s very consistent, shows great instincts and is often a sure tackler. I’m also quite impressed with his ability in coverage which is needed even more so in today’s pro game. I know that the Ravens signed Daryl Smith to a 4-year deal but I’d be surprised if he’s here to complete it as I see him as a player on the decline. Having a tag team of Mosley and Arthur Brown for years to come is a very intriguing pairing and one that should benefit the Ravens defense for the foreseeable future.

Mike Randall: I’m okay with this pick. The big needs are free safety and offensive line, but we’ll see how the rest of the draft plays out. Arthur Brown is no sure thing after not forcing his way into more playing time last year. Daryl Smith is decent in pass protection, but the absolute worst at stopping the run. So many games were lost in 2013 because the defense simply couldn’t stop the run in the 4th quarter. Hopefully Mosely can be that run stopper, and best case scenario, Brown and Mosely earn spots as starters with Daryl Smith becoming the passing down linebacker. But after signing Smith to a four year $16.1M deal, it’s unlikely they cut his snaps this year. Either way, Mosely looks like a solid pick. In Alabama’s biggest game, against Auburn, Mosely showed the ability to shed some blocks, and possesses great instincts around the line. He doesn’t overcommit on play action and misdirection plays. Auburn runs more misdirection than most teams out there. But there was something I noticed in his tape from the LSU game. Even though he wasn’t biting hard on misdirection, in that extra half second he takes to get a bead on the ball, a blocker nearby would blindside him, taking him out of the play. This only happened a few times, and it’s really the only knock I can find on the guy. It’s only a bad thing if other teams zero in on it like LSU did. Most times, teams did not, and even LSU didn’t do it often. Mosely will try to buck the trend of Alabama players entering the NFL banged up and not meeting expectations.

Chris Stoner: Pretty much every review I’ve read about Mosley has described him as an ideal 3 down ILB with plus athleticism, and great instincts. Teaming him next to Arthur Brown for years to come, is very attractive to me. (Though for 2014, Mosley would figure to enter the year behind Daryl Smith). The proliferation of passing offenses across the league are changing defenses; but having linebackers in the middle capable of running sideline-to-sideline should always have value. Especially if those ILB’s are capable of covering backs out of the backfield, TE’s over the middle, and pursuing or spying QB’s. As far as his game goes, one mild issue I’ve seen mentioned is possible difficulty in covering down the seam v. the TE’s capable of stretching the field. Beyond that, the other major questions are his injury history, and being a member of the Crimson Tide. The Alabama angle does not concern me. I think you have evaluate each player on their own individual merits. Would seem to me that one reason there are a number of recent Alabama players that have failed to meet expectations; is that Alabama is producing a lot of NFL talent. The more numbers you put into the League, the odds only increase that some will fail. There are intangible things I like in the write-ups about Mosley. Mentions about his leadership skills, and work ethic. His commitment to film-study. The consistent effort he provides. Those things are huge when combined with talent. You have someone that will continue to work work to improve. In my opinion, he has the resume of someone who should have been selected earlier. As such, it feels like good to me value wise at 17.

Rob Shields:  Good tackler, very good in pass defense and has a high football IQ.  This is a good all around player that is ready to play right now.  Problem is, the NFL is devaluing the LBer position, much like they have at the RB position. With that in-mind (combined with his hip and knee issues in college), I can’t see taking him at 17th overall.  Also have to consider that Alabama players tend to struggle in the pros and one of the reasons why, according to Scouts and Executives, is that the players get ridden hard by Saban and just come into the league beat up. Too much risk in my opinion. As a football player, he is probably worth that pick, but there are other factors at work here. This is a selection that I think would have made more sense, if the Ravens had been able to trade back.

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About the author


Matt Jergensen  

Ravens Analyst

Matt is a lifelong Maryland resident and graduate of both Calvert Hall and Towson University. For over five years he worked as the senior site editor for Ravens Gab, now renamed Baltimore Gridiron Report, providing commentary and analysis. He’s also written articles for Ravens 24 x 7, now Russell Street Report and has appeared on the sports debate site, Fan vs. Fan. Matt currently lives in Bel Air, just minutes away from his job teaching high school history and economics for Harford County Public Schools.


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