Ravens draft primer: C.J. Mosley

With five days until the NFL draft begins, here is another potential draft prospect for the Baltimore Ravens:


Position: Inside linebacker

School: Alabama

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 234 pounds

Round projection: First

File this away: Mosley is the third player in Alabama history to win college football's Dick Butkus Award, joining Derrick Thomas (1988) and, yes, Rolando McClain (2009).

Good: Mosley's toughness, elite instincts and exceptional athleticism makes him the best inside linebacker in this draft. He's an explosive tackler who plays sideline to sideline. Mosley has great football intelligence and rarely makes mental mistakes. He'll make a couple of plays a game because of his film study. He has good awareness in zone coverage and is quick enough to cover running backs man to man. A strong leader, Mosley will line up his teammates.

Bad: It's hard to point out a negative when watching Mosley on tape. Durability is the biggest concern. Mosley was held out of most drills at the NFL combine because of a right shoulder injury. He dislocated his elbow and hip at Alabama. Mosley only forced two fumbles in his college career.

Bottom line: If the Ravens stick with their "best player available" philosophy, Mosley is a strong possibility at No. 17. He's generally regarded as one of the top 10 players in this draft. Inside linebacker, though, isn't a pressing need for the Ravens. They re-signed Daryl Smith and invested a second-round pick in Arthur Brown last year. Still, Mosley brings some of the same qualities as former Ravens great Ray Lewis. The Ravens brought in Mosley for one of their pre-draft visits.

What Mosley said: "I think I’m one of the best. I’m not bragging on who I am or what I do. If I say that I’m not one of the top linebackers then I probably wasn’t, and I’d be disappointed in myself because I know the work that I put in.”