Hometown: Mobile, AL
Cj is the tough, hard nosed leader of the Crimson Tide defensive Unit. He's a three down linebacker that can stay of the field. He's a very tough run defender, consistently shedding blocks and wrapping up runners. Cj has great initial burst and closing speed to shut down runs on the outside. As the quarterback of Alabama's defense, Mosley constantly makes checks and re-checks in a complicated Crimson TIde defense. This well translate well into the NFL, it makes him more of a leader on the field. In coverage, he has great awareness, he understands formations and personnel groupings. He's also a very solid blitzer, going through or around blockers to hit the ball carrier. He's a very versatile linebacker who could play in any of our three spots if needed. Senior Bowl scouting calls Mosley 'the perfect linebacker prospect'.
" 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."
Skill-Set Summary: There is a lot for NFL scouts to like about Mosley. He is a well-rounded defender who is an impact player in the ground game and in pass coverage. Alabama has developed Mosley well and he is a true three-down defender who never needs to come off the field.
For the pros, Mosley's pass defense could be his most intriguing asset. He is tailor made for the next level's passing game. Mosley is a phenomenal defender against the pass in man coverage, zone coverage and blitzing. He has the speed to cover a lot of ground and is a natural in zone coverage. The senior does a good job of picking up receivers in his territory and is very instinctive with how he reads quarterbacks and routes.
Mosley has shown the speed, agility and athletic ability to play some man coverage. He could be used to help cover NFL tight ends that try to run down the middle seam. On passing downs, Mosley could move over to middle linebacker or stay on the outside.
Aside from pass coverage, Mosley is a good blitzer. Alabama didn't have a dominant pass-rusher last year so Mosley helped provide pressure on the quarterback. The Crimson Tide didn't blitz Mosley that often due to his pass-coverage ability, but the team got good results when it did. It will be interesting to see if the senior blitzes more in 2013.
Mosley is a good read-and-react defender versus the run. He has good instincts and finds his way to the ball. Mosley could use more strength for the ground game and could stand to improve his ability to shed blocks. He really improved his run defense from 2011 to 2012 and that made him an every-down player for Alabama.
In the NFL, Mosley could fit as a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3 defense or play the inside of a 3-4. If he ends up in a 3-4, he might want to gain a little weight. Mosley has received good preparation at Alabama for any scheme he is drafted into.
For the most part, Mosley is a consistent tackler that does a good job of getting in position, breaking down, wrapping up, and driving his legs through contact. As he is not a particularly imposing physical player, playing with good technique makes him look more powerful than he is. Occasionally, he will get caught tackling too high, get overpowered slightly and while he will get the tackle, the ball carrier can fall forward. Mosley tackles well on the move and does a good job of basically using a jump stop in traffic when he is setting up to make a tackle; he essentially jumps into a broken down position before firing at the ball carrier. He is not a guy who lunges unless he is desperate and trying to catch the ball carrier going away from him by the trying to catch his legs or ankles. While Mosley does not make a ton of impact tackles that will draw a lot of excitement from the crowd, he is someone who is consistently around the football and will pile up the tackles over the course of season and not just assisted tackles, but solo tackles as well. Mosley is someone who will rarely whiff on a tackle and is someone who can be counted on to make plays and do his job.
One area that Mosley could really work to improve is his ability to force fumbles as he only has one in his career to this point. He is a good, fundamental tackler but he just may want to focus on trying to improve on putting his arm or helmet on the ball as well as just ripping at it when a ball carrier is corralled.
Mosley is definitely who can contribute in obvious passing situations at the linebacker position. He has good instincts, reads what is going on well and if he sees screen, he sniffs it out quickly and either can get in position to break up the play or make a tackle for little or no gain. Although he is more comfortable in zone coverage, Mosley is able to play man as well. Usually covering backs out of the backfield, he reads the play while he slides over to quickly get in coverage, so he is able to adjust on the fly if the play calls to play the run. He will get a little bit of a bump when he first contacts the receiver and is able to stay with him effectively.
Mosley has a little more trouble dealing with big tight ends but he is able contribute in coverage there and compete in man coverage. They have upped his responsibility this year and had him run with potential receivers down the field and he has not only held his own, but managed to make plays on the football and help cause turnovers. His ability to help in man coverage really improves how much he can bring to a team and how much they can run in terms of coverages and schemes in the NFL.
In zone, he keeps his eyes in the backfield and reading the quarterback’s eyes, sometimes just a little too much as he will get caught out of position occasionally. He does a good job of flowing with the quarterback and usually has a good sense of what is going on around him. Mosley has experience in short zones as well as playing deep zone consistent with Cover-2 concepts.
Mosley displays impressive ball skills and reacts to pass quickly and easily to make plays and get his hands on the football, occasionally showing better hands and the ability to adjust on the football than some of his opponents. Not only is he someone who can cause turnovers in coverage, but he has the speed where if he undercuts a route going downhill, he is more than likely going to score and he is not afraid to be aggressive and go for the big return.
Pass Rush & Blitz Ability
Mosley has shown he has the speed and quickness to get after the quarterback when asked. Almost exclusively on the blitz, Mosley has experience attacking from the inside or the outside. He demonstrates the ability to anticipate and get a jump with the snap with the quickness to occasionally slip blocks and into the backfield to get pressure on the quarterback almost before he is able to set up to throw. Mosley is also able to wait on a delay, wait for blocks to set up and then find the hole and attack. He has the speed and agility to chase down quarterbacks and break down quickly in space to avoid overrunning them.
Lastly, he appreciates assignment football and when his assignment calls him to take on a blocker to create an opportunity for another pass rusher, Mosley does it to the best of ability enabling teammates to capitalize on the play design. It would be easy to go half speed when he is simply trying to draw attention somewhere to open up someone else but he goes all out just in case and does not try to play hero ball and avoid it. For instance, on a play where he is blitzing outside from the inside linebacker position to open up an opportunity for a safety coming off the edge, he goes hard at the tackle, does not try to avoid him or do anything that would jeopardize the lane integrity of the play, which allowed the safety to secure the sack. The safety gets the credit but he was integral in making it happen.