Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
With Thanksgiving now in the rear view mirror, it’s time for some December NFL Draft prognostication. In the first installment of the FanSided Network Mock Draft, the Giants select… versatile Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley at #14 overall. As I mentioned in an earlier piece from October 16th, if the Jints ultimately go the backer route it will be a historic occasion. It’s been a staggering 30 years since the Giants drafted a LB in the first-round, dating all the way back to Carl Banks in 1984.
What Mosley brings to the table:
Speed | He reportedly ran a 4.47 at Alabama’s camp this off-season.
Intelligence | Mosley digests information quickly; reading formations, diagnosing plays and possessing an innate feel for down and distance situations/playcalling.
Coverage | Aside from running well, he has clean lateral agility and freedom of movement. Mosley is comfortable defending in space.
Mosley racked up 14 tackles in the Iron Bowl, but it wasn’t a glistening performance by any stretch. Auburn ran the football 52 times, and Tre Mason and company frequently bypassed the Tide defensive line into the second level — opportunities for tackle accumulations were plentiful. There were quite a few occasions where he struggled to separate from blocks, often finding himself slightly out of position against the Tigers multi-facted running attack. Mosley overpursued an inside read to Mason in the first quarter which opened up the edge for a 45-yard touchdown scamper by Nick Marshall.
Nevertheless, Mosley is a lock to hear his name called in the top half of the 1st round. His versatility will allow him to meld into either a 4-3 (WLB) or 3-4 (MLB) defensive scheme. He’s a “safe bet” and ready to contribute immediately at a high level.