In 2013 the New York Giants' linebackers played better than than they had in a long time. In fact, it was probably the best season for the unit since 2008. A big part of that was the job Jerry Reese and company did strengthening the defensive line, helping to keep offensive linemen out of the second level and off the linebackers. The other part of that was the mid-season addition of Jon Beason. Beason's ability to take command of the defensive huddle and communicate the calls to the rest of the defense were a massive boost to the unit.
That being said, the linebacking corp could still use another playmaker. Beason is on the downside of his career and it's unknown how much of his athletic ability he will be able to get back following an offseason of training rather than rehabbing.
Enter C.J. Mosley.
- The vocal leader of an Alabama defense loaded with NFL talent
- Perhaps the most well-rounded linebacker in the draft, able to play in a 3-4 and 4-3 defense, at either the weak-side or inside linebacker spots.
- Good size at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds.
- Good athlete, able to play sideline to sideline
- Fluid, able to play multiple coverages as well as flow to the ball in the running game
- Heady player with a high football IQ and strong instincts
- Athletic blitzer
- Might need to get stronger, but adding mass could impact his athleticism
- Sometimes struggles with blockers in the run game and rushing the passer, not many pass rush moves.
- Stacked Alabama defense might make him look better than he really is.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Mosley would be a perfect fit Perry Fewell's defense. His fluidity in coverage would allow him to cover receivers and tight ends underneath as well as running backs out of the backfield. In obvious passing situations, Mosley would give the Giants the flexibility to take Beason off the field for a defensive back, keeping the intangibles on the field while upgrading the defense's athleticism.
CJ Mosley vs Arkansas (2013) (via Adrian Ahufinger)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 13th overall
Mocking The Draft - 14th overall
CBS Sports -21st overall
Draft Countdown - 9th overall
Draft Tek - 8th overall
The past two years the Giants have broken away from long-standing trends with their first round picks. In 2012 they drafted running back David Wilson in the first round despite rarely investing more than a Day 3 pick in the running back position (lately, in any case). In 2013, they drafted Justin Pugh in the first round despite having taken only one offensive lineman in the first round in the previous 23 years (Luke Pettigout, 1999), or longer than Pugh has been alive. The Giants haven't selected a linebacker in the first round in even longer (Carl Banks, 1984).
Could the Giants take a linebacker in the first round for the first time in 30 years? It's possible, and Mosley looks to not only warrant a top-15 selection, but be a safe one at that.