Intro - Although a first round lock for the 2013 draft, CJ Mosley decided to return to Tuscaloosa for a shot at one more championship. The decision may not have paid dividends in regards to a BCS title, but Mosley made the most of his senior year and is once again a first round lock.
Early Career - After splitting time
with Nico Johnson in 2011, CJ Mosley assumed the starting role for the Crimson Tide in 2012. The junior was the most consistent player on a great defense. Although most people found Mosley as a lock for the first round, he decided against entering the draft.
Size - At 6’2 and 238 pounds, CJ Mosley has prototypical size for an NFL linebacker. Although he may want to add a little weight if drafted to be a 3-4 inside linebacker, he is already the perfect size to play outside linebacker in a 4-3.
Athleticism - Mosley’s combination of speed, range and agility makes him an ideal prospect at linebacker. The senior is expected to run a 40 year old dash at around 4.6 seconds, which is faster than some receivers. His range allows him to be an ideal cover linebacker in both man and zone coverage schemes. Mosley is truly a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. In addition to great straight line speed and range, he uses his agility and light feed to weave in and out of traffic when tracking down the ball carrier. In addition to his high football IQ, Mosley’s athleticism is what will allow him to be an instant starter on nearly any team. These traits are his biggest +++ because they allow him to chase down guys even when he makes a late or wrong read.
Production - CJ Mosley finished his senior season with 108 tackles, which ranked 4th in college football. 9 of those tackles were for a loss. He has 1 forced fumble, 9 quarterback hurries and broke up 5 passes. He also managed to deflect 5 passes.
Pass Coverage - The senior excels in man and zone coverages. He is more than serviceable as a pass rusher as well. Mosley’s ability to read the quarterback’s eyes allow him to get a jump on the ball and force an incompletion. Mosley will quickly become one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL due to his overall ability, but he would be best served to work on his hands, which are worse than average. In the below gif you can see him read the Quarterback’s eyes and get the knock down on a 4th and 2 in the redzone.
Overall - CJ Mosley took a gamble when he opted to return for his senior season and was rewarded by winning the 2013 Butkus Award. This is an annual award that is given to the nation’s top linebacker. That award caps off a great collegiate career for the Crimson Tide. Mosley entered Alabama as a promising prospect with great coverage skills and will leave as the most well rounded linebacker in college football. He has the versatility to play inside in any defense or outside in a 4-3 and he can play any of these positions at a
high level. His current frame projects best as a 4-3 outside linebacker, but he could easily add some muscle if asked to move inside. CJ Mosley doesn’t receive the top-10 consideration that pure pass rushing linebackers like Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack do, but he is the most well-rounded sideline-to-sideline linebacker in this year’s draft. Whatever team drafts him will have an immediate starter for years to come. 1st Round Grade