Arizona takes CJ Mosley, inside linebacker from Alabama. Mosley at 6’2 and 228 pounds has the right size you want to see in an inside linebacker. The reason Arizona would want him is due to the uncertainty with Daryl Washington’s disposition after his guilty plea earlier in the month. The league has yet to announce what additional punishment, if any, Washington will suffer as a result of that issue.
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Pairing him with Kevin Minter in the middle would give Arizona a pair of solid, young inside linebackers that can be built around for years to come. So what do the scouts think of him?
From his CBS Sports.com draft page:
STRENGTHS: Mosley does a nice job using his length and lower body fluidity to keep himself clean through a crowd and finishes at the ball, wrapping and driving through his target. He is very smart and keeps his eyes on the ball to track and attack and rarely makes mental mistakes, which is a result of his high football IQ and preparation skills.
Jim Corbett of USA Today wrote a piece on Mosley and described him well.
“I don’t see why Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning defense wouldn’t have an impact on teams in this draft,” Mosley told USA TODAY Sports. “I play full speed. You have to have more speed on defense because nowadays, with all the little fast offensive guys and the way more teams play up-tempo, hurry-up offense, you need linebackers who are faster and good in coverage.”
In an increasingly pass-centric league that demands defenses go with nickel coverage more than 60% of the time, Mosley has rare ability and range to blanket tight ends and running backs.
That last sentence is rather important. Arizona needs a lot of help covering tight ends and Mosley would be able to provide it. The Cardinals allowed a league-worst 17 touchdowns to tight ends in 2013 and must be better in this area in 2014.
He recorded 108 tackles last season for Alabama including nine for losses. Mosley would be a great fit for Arizona. The only question is whether he will be there at 20 when Arizona comes up. Miami (at 19) could use an inside linebacker and might snipe him away from the Cardinals.