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If C.J. Mosley Falls in Round One, Would the Steelers Take Him?


 

I certainly cannot blame those who feel that the Pittsburgh Steelers need to employ a defensive-heavy draft strategy this May. This team has depth issues at multiple positions, and the glaring holes at nose tackle and cornerback could force the team to look to upgrade those positions early and often in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Although he believes that the Steelers will select a defensive prospect, Charles Davis of NFL.com has the franchise going in an entirely different direction than cornerback and nose tackle with their first round selection. In fact, Davis has Pittsburgh selecting inside linebacker C.J. Mosley of Alabama at number 15 overall in round one of the first installment of his 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

While certain pundits have shown love for cornerbacks like Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert or a nose tackle like Louis Nix III, the Steelers would be out of their minds if they passed up on a prospect like Mosley if he fell to them in the first round.

After a fantastic junior campaign, many believed that Mosley would enter the 2013 NFL Draft.  He was coming off of a season in which he led the National Champions in tackles (107), racked up 8.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and caused four turnovers (two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery).

To his credit, Mosley did not hurt his draft stock whatsoever this past fall with his stellar play. He not only led the Tide in tackles (108), tackles for loss (9.0) and quarterback hurries (10). As stout as Mosley is against the run (6’2″ 238 lbs.), the biggest reason why many are high on the linebacker is because of his skill-set when it comes to playing the pass.

Not only can the former Alabama star make plays in front of him, he can hold his own down the field and cover ground between the numbers. Before he became a starter for the Tide in 2012, Mosley was a staple in Alabama’s nickel and dime packages due to his ability to cover large areas of space.

Although inside linebacker might not be as dire of a need as wide receiver, nose tackle or cornerback, adding someone like Mosley to the mix with Lawrence Timmons, Vince Williams, Terence Garvin and a potentially healthy Sean Spence would give the Steelers tremendous depth at the position. Most of all, it would give Pittsburgh’s defense a three-down linebacker who could be a staple on that side of the ball for the next decade.

Unless someone like Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Darqueze Dennard or Justin Gilbert proves to be too tantalizing to pass up on at number 15 overall, I would have a hard time believing that the Steelers would pass on a linebacker with Mosley’s specific skill-set.

Do I ultimately believe that Mosley will fall beyond the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and St. Louis Rams at #9, #10, #11 and #13 into Pittsburgh’s laps in round one? Not in the least. Yet if Mosley takes a tumble similar to David DeCastro back in 2012, I would love to see Pittsburgh’s brass rush up to the podium with the Alabama inside linebacker’s name on their draft card.

 

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.comSpotracAlabama and Pro Football Reference

 

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  • Kirby Hogenmiller

    In my opinion If Mosley, Benjamin, Evans, or Watkins is there at 15 the Steelers pick should definitely be one of those 4. Imagine Mosley next to Timmons.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Exactly, Mosley next to Timmons would be fantastic. Having Williams & Garvin in relief and backup roles wouldn’t be too shabby either. Plus, Sean Spence is a wild card as well.

      Of course, the chances of Mosley falling are quite slim. His pass-coverage skills should make him a hot commodity. I think Evans and Benjamin will be there at #15. I’d rather they take a TE like Ebron or Amaro and go after a WR on Day 2, but that’s more due to the fact that the TE class is very top-heavy.

      • Kirby Hogenmiller

        I think it would be neat if they get a TE in round one then a WR in day 2 but i seriously dont think they would draft both positions considering our needs on defense. It will probably be one or the other. But if they were to do that then they are basically going to rely on the offense to pick up the slack and then they will focus next years draft on defense.

        • Dom DiTolla

          My biggest issue is if they do go defense-heavy, then will the high round rookies play? I’d love to see them take Justin Gilbert at #15 for their cornerback needs, another one for developmental purposes on Days 2-3, and a UDFA as well.

          Hell, I’d love this to be a defense-heavy draft. Yet with LeBeau still around, these rookies will more than likely be riding the pine pony unless injuries absolutely decimate a particular position. They’d essentially be passing up more explosive prospects who could make the offense better and contribute sooner for defenders who will likely spend the first half of their rookie deals on special teams.

          I’m not sure people understand how much the depth at TE is in need of an upgrade. Miller is still a solid and reliable starter, but this offense could be even more explosive and dangerous with a joker-type who can play in the slot and spread defenses out as well.

  • Carl Eagan

    I’d really like a tight end to be drafted but the issue is the Steeler’s don’t use their tight ends like other teams do the offensive line has been so bad for so long the TE is basically another blocker. Fix that and then maybe the 2 TE set will produce chunks of yards. I’m hoping they get Gilbert because of his coverage skills and speed, I think Spaeth could beat Dennard in a race. Mosley would be ideal pick and one of the few who could force himself on the field early but for him to slide to 15 he would have to completely bomb the combine.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Dennard would be a good fit for what the Steelers do defensively and in their zone-based scheme. I would love it if they drafted Gilbert because he has a higher ceiling, is more athletic and can return kicks, but don’t discount Dennard’s supposed lack of speed. He’s more technically sound than Gilbert, but I don’t think either will fall to #15 (same with Mosley as well).

      The Steelers actually blocked better when they spread teams out and defenses were forced to send fewer guys and sub-package personnel at Big Ben. Adding a play-making TE into the lineup who could work in the slot would force defenses to respect the passing game even more, and more holes in the running game would naturally open up for Bell as well.

      • Carl Eagan

        Ok I see your point although I still think that Dennard is really a younger and slightly taller version of Gay good coverage skills but slow. Since the tight end your suggesting is basically a receiver why go the TE route and just pick up another versatile receiver?

        • Dom DiTolla

          Acquiring an extra tight end who can split into the slot in a joker role is all about the creation of matchup advantages. It forces opposing defenses to employ sub-packages and scramble to determine whether or not linebackers, safeties or corners can provide adequate matchups. Plus, it allows offenses to be more versatile with formations and personnel packages.

          Most importantly, this team has no current “Exit Strategy” beyond Heath Miller at the tight end position. While I believe that Heath has around three more seasons of solid production and another two or so of being a competent passing game option, Spaeth, Paulson and Palmer have never illustrated any ability to cut the mustard as legitimate forces in the passing game.

  • Thumper833

    I would also be totally fine with this pick.