C.J. Mosley NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Baltimore Ravens OLB

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) lines up for the play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Chattanooga on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama (HT: 6'2" WT: 234 lbs)

Baltimore Ravens 

First Round: 17th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Lavonte David, OLB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Combine Weigh-In
6'2"23433 3/8"10 3/4"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd dashVertBroad3-ConeShuttle


  • Pairs athletic upside with developed technique. 
  • Light feet in space with impressive change-of-direction ability. 
  • Accelerates to close with significant burst. 
  • Fluids hips to turn and run with recovery speed to play man coverage up the seam. 
  • Instinctive ability to sink underneath intermediate routes and into passing lanes. 
  • Lets the eyes of the quarterback take him to plays in underneath zone coverage. 
  • Satisfactory length to play the ball in the air. 
  • Disciplined working laterally with sudden feet to react and fit the run quickly. 
  • Picks his way through traffic in the box, staying light on his feet and using his hands. 
  • Maneuvers around blocks with fine flexibility and balance. 
  • Pursues to the perimeter from inside out, disciplined to not overrun. 
  • Adequate long speed to make plays at the sidelines. 
  • No qualms about coming forward to meet a fullback head-on. 
  • Technical tackler who sinks and drives his hips through ball-carriers while wrapping. 
  • Will deliver a big hit to a ball-carrier or receiver who leaves himself exposed. 
  • High-motor pursuer of the ball who gets home at a high rate. 
  • Model of consistency, the same player week in and week out. 
  • Developed linebacker with a diversified skill set.


  • Lean frame from top to bottom. 
  • Read-and-react skills are merely average. 
  • Can freeze up reading his keys and hesitate on occasion. 
  • Uses his hands extensively in coverage, will take adjusting to NFL rules. 
  • Doesn’t always play with head on a swivel in zone coverage and can be slow to pick up routes. 
  • Imprecise blitzer, doesn’t find space instinctively. 
  • Lack of power limits effectiveness as a blitzer. 
  • Stone hands when trying to intercept, track record of dropped interceptions. 
  • Doesn’t assert himself with power against blockers, is usually overmatched physically. 
  • Little power comes from his upper body despite skilled usage of his hands. 
  • Extensive injury history.
Collegiate Statistics

Personal Notes

  • A 4-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010, ranked 99th in ESPN 150
  • 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. 
  • 2013 Butkus Award winner. 
  • 2012 and 2013 consensus first-team All-American. 
  • Declined invitation to the Senior Bowl despite full health. 
  • Laundry list of injuries to his record, including a dislocated hip and dislocated elbow.

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.com.


The lack of NFL success from recent Alabama defenders shouldn’t scare teams off from Mosley as long as his medical exams come back with a passing grade. 

Mosley is a true three-down linebacker, which is a must in today’s NFL. His athleticism, football instincts and versatile skill set make him the type of linebacker who can have an impact on a down-by-down basis. Mosley may be most suited as an outside linebacker in a 4-3, but he’s not a bad fit for the inside of a 4-3 or 3-4 and will certainly factor into any team’s nickel package.

Draft Projection: 1st Round

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