Football.com - everything football
College Work Still Incomplete

By




Of all the things C.J. Mosley does well, his play in coverage might be his best asset. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Of all the things C.J. Mosley does well, his play in coverage might be his best asset. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

6-2, 232 pounds

It’s a little trickier to figure out why Mosley passed on the 2013 draft, when he almost certainly would have been a mid-to-late first round pick. Could it really be that he came back to Tuscaloosa to play for a third BCS championship? That wound send him into the NFL without many fingers left for new rings.

Since he made the decision to come back, Mosley can show the NFL a few new things. They’ve seen him routinely shed blockers and make tackles (he led the Tide with 107 tackles – seven fewer than the next two tacklers on the list combined). They’ve seen him cover running backs and slot receivers, and take interceptions back for touchdowns (something he’s done three times in his career already).

What they’ve not seen is Mosley as an intimidating presence. He’s a pure technique tackler – which is rare enough these days to earn him full credit from pro coaches. But he hasn’t displayed the knockout punch that bigger backers can deliver. Mosley has forced only one fumble in his career. In the eyes of the hair-splitters, that could be the difference between going top 10 in the draft or top 25.

This final college season affords Mosley the chance to expand his versatility. Right now, he might project only as a weakside linebacker for a 4-3 NFL team. If he proves himself to be even more stout against the run, teams could start to view him as a potential Mike backer – particularly a Tampa 2 team looking for someone with Brian Urlacher-type skills in coverage.