With the No. 17 pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens selected former Alabama Crimson Tide inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley came in at No. 9 on SB Nation's top 200 big board, first among players at his position.
Mosley is another top defensive player coming out of Alabama, something that has been a common practice over the past decade. Following in the footsteps of men like Dont'a Hightower and Rolando McClain, Mosley comes to the NFL as a highly-touted linebacker with great athletic ability.
Matthew Stevens believes Mosley will help fill the void left by Ray Lewis. He writes:
Mosley is a fast, lean linebacker with great football instincts and a great football IQ that should be an immediate player on a top defense with the Ravens. With injuries to his elbow, hip and shoulder, he was slowed down a great deal at Alabama but still led the team and earned himself the Butkus Award as the Nation's top linebacker. As a film junkie and respected leader on the Crimson Tide team, he should do well to fit the mold of departed linebacker Ray Lewis.
Last season, Mosley shined for the Crimson Tide, winning the SEC Defensive Player of the Year award (shared with Missouri's Michael Sam) along with being named the Butkus Award winner as the nation's best linebacker. He finished his college carer with a pair of 100-plus tackle seasons, leading Alabama in that department both times.
The only real concern for most personnel people going into the draft is Mosley's size. At 6'2 and only 234 pounds, there is a worry he might be overwhelmed by some of the bigger linemen until he adds weight.
Vertical jump: 35 inches
Broad jump: 118 inches
3-cone drill: 7.30 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.40 seconds
In our SB Nation scouting report, Matthew Fairburn writes about Mosley's coverage skills:
One of Mosley's most impressive traits is his fluidity in coverage. He mirrors receivers effectively and has the hips and foot speed to keep up with tight ends down the field. What separates Mosley from other linebackers is his ability to recognize what the offense is doing in the passing game and anticipate throws. He also turns his head around on the football well.