Finally, the draft is here.
For what it’s worth I think the Ravens will pick either Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Zack Martin with their 17th overall pick, if either one of those players are still on the board. If both of those players are still there, I think Baltimore will take Clinton-Dix.
Speaking of former Alabama defenders, C.J. Mosley is the final player we study in our 2014 pre-draft series.
Why would the Ravens take a linebacker at No. 17?
The answer is simple. If Mosley is on the board when the Ravens are on the clock, he’s likely going to be the best player available, which is who the Ravens usually take. It would make for a crowded group of linebackers, but his talent will be hard to pass up.
Besides, how often do NFL general managers do what you think they’ll do in the draft? The Ravens have said they want a more athletic (free) safety, another running back and possibly a tight end. But just because selecting Mosley isn’t a pressing need doesn’t mean it’s a move the Ravens won’t make.
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 234 pounds
- 40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds
- Vertical jump: 35″
- Broad jump: 9’10”
- Last season: 108 tackles (9 for loss), 5 passes defensed 1 forced fumble
Pros: A winner. A natural. Top-tier instincts. Cerebral. Hungry for greatness. Forceful tackler that likes to suplex backs when he gets the chance. Relentless pursuit. He reads his keys extremely well. Checking and re-checking is something he seemed comfortable doing in Kirby Smart’s defense. Will take on blocks without hesitation and without giving ground. He’s rarely deceived by play action and will commit very few false steps. From snap to whistle he’s “all in.” He may turn out to be the best linebacker in this draft.
Cons: The only negative concerning Mosley is his injury history (torn labrum and a dislocated elbow and hip). But according to him, that’s all in the past. Mosley said he was given the “all clear” by doctors at the combine.
Last week, Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz affirmatively defended players like Mosley and their NFL potential, despite previous injuries. While I wouldn’t say Mosley is injury prone, the injuries he’s suffered haven’t been minor.
Why the Ravens would select him: The Consensus first-team All-American and Dick Butkus Award winner will probably be too hard for the Ravens to pass up, in the unlikely event he’s still available when they’re on the clock. The Ravens would select him to take over for Daryl Smith in the not-too-distant future. Why not take Mosley to further reinforce the foundation of your defense for years to come?
Projected position with the Ravens: Weak side (WILL) linebacker. That would mean Baltimore’s starting linebackers would consist of: Courtney Upshaw/Elvis Dumervil (SAM), Daryl Smith (MIKE), C.J. Mosley (WILL) and Terrell Suggs (RUSH).
Right now, Arthur Brown and Josh Bynes will battle it out to for the starting Will linebacker spot, but Mosley may bypass them both. Although I think Arthur Brown will be a star in this league, I don’t think he’s there yet. I think Bynes is third behind 1) Mosley and 1A) Brown.