By Alex Kozora
Our focus has shifted to the offseason and for the next few months, I’ll be providing scouting reports on several draft prospects. Some of these players the Pittsburgh Steelers may look at and others will be top players that will be off the board before they select. All to make you as prepared as possible for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Evaluation of Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley.
C.J. Mosley/ILB Alabama: 6’2 234
– Tons of length for his frame (33 3/8 arms) and huge hands (10 3/4)
– Fundamentally sound tackler who rarely misses, large “tackle radius”
– Packs a punch on his stops
– Heady player with good IQ, reacts and attacks quickly
– Takes proper angles to the football
– Shows some ability to use hands to shed lineman
– Apt in coverage, fluid hips and reads the quarterback’s eyes
– Productive, experienced career
– Highly decorated player
– Slightly lean frame with perhaps less than ideal bulk
– Not a great straight-line athlete, average speed/athleticism
– Lacks explosion and first step comes from snap anticipation moreso than physical ability
– Sometimes will get swallowed up and get stuck on blocks
– Strength is ok but not great
– Questionable hands, dropped a few interceptions
– A few minor medical issues
– Two year starter, part-time starter sophomore season
– 319 career tackles, 23.5 TFL, 5 INTs (3 TDs)
– 2013: 108 tackles, 9 TFL
– 2012 and 2013 1st Team SEC and 1st Team AP All-American
– Led team in tackles junior and senior seasons
– Three INTs for touchdowns tied Alabama record
– Freshman All-SEC honors in 2010, recording 67 tackles
– Suffered dislocations to elbow and hip
– Underwent right shoulder “cleanup” following 2012 season
– U.S. Army All-American in high school
– Over 500 tackles in his career, including 186 senior season
– Recruited by practically every major college (Auburn, Stanford, LSU, Oklahoma)
It took a little while for Mosley to grow on him because he won’t jump off the page at you, but his level of consistency harkens back to the “throwback” linebackers of yesteryear.
Superb tackler who snaps his hips on contacts and drives through. Some nasty to his hits, too. Stuffs Ole Miss Beau Wallace in the end zone for a safety.
Just as good in the open field, too.
Sheds the lineman, finds the back, and stuffs him. Had a real good game against Auburn. Located the ballcarrier consistently and was all over the place. Finished with 14 tackles. Not easy to do in the Tigers’ option/misdirection offense. Have to be a smart player in order to succeed.
Can flash active hands and get off blockers. Like everyone else on the Bama defense, near flawless game in the title game against Notre Dame.
His weaknesses aren’t anything I would consider to be a deal-breaker. Can’t say I get excited about him as an athlete but it isn’t so bad that it’ll hinder his play. Just don’t expect him to be Derrick Brooks.
Though he is experienced in coverage and reads the eyes of the quarterback well when sitting in zone.
Hands must be more active because there are times where he’ll get stuck on a block and washed out. Fullback puts him in the ground below.
Mosley isn’t going to wow at workouts, running in the mid 4.6’s to low 4.7’s at his Pro Day. But put on the tape and you have yourself a rock-solid inside linebacker that will rarely disappoint.
Unfortunately, he probably falls in draft purgatory for the Steelers. Too high to take at 15 but unlikely to last until the second round.
Projection: Late First (25-32)
Games Watched: vs Notre Dame (2012 – Bowl) vs Ole Miss, at LSU at Auburn
Previous Scouting Reports:
Buffalo LB Khalil Mack
Illinois State T/G Josh Aladenoye
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
Stanford ILB Shayne Skov/a>
Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
Auburn T Greg Robinson
Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
Auburn LB Dee Ford
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
North Dakota State T Billy Turner
Boston College RB Andre Williams
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy
Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald
Tennessee NT Daniel McCullers
Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett
Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
Tennessee T Antonio Richardson
Central Florida RB Storm Johnson
Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
West Virginia DE Will Clarke
Louisville S Calvin Pryor
Wisconsin ILB Chris Borland
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews
Virginia T Morgan Moses
Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt
Mississippi WR Donte Moncrief
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
North Carolina DE Kareem Martin
UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
South Carolina CB Victor Hampton
Clemson WR Martavis Bryant
Fresno State WR Davante Adams
Texas DE/OLB Jackson Jeffcoat
Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
TCU CB Jason Verrett
Louisiana Tech NT Justin Ellis
Baylor RB Lache Seastrunk
Rice CB Phillip Gaines
Coastal Carolina RB Lorenzo Taliaferro
LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Cincinnati TE Blake Annen