Aug 4, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) during practice at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
On May 8 the New Orleans Saints will be called upon to make their selection with the 27th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but who are they to target? The draft is an opportunity to address team needs at every position possible and the Saints could certainly use another receiver, cornerback, pass rusher (OLB, DE) or even a quarterback to learn behind Drew Brees for a few years. Well luckily, the 2014 class is loaded with players at all of those positions, but what about inside linebackers?
New Orleans could definitely use another guy on the inside to contend alongside Curtis Lofton, and this year’s draft is not notably deep at that position. Alabama’s C.J. Mosley has been projected to go anywhere from the 13th overall pick to the 30th overall pick, but more towards the bottom of the first round due to injuries in the past. Chances that he falls into the hands of Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are very likely. So why C.J. Mosley?
Sep 14, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) defends Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the second half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 Butkus Award winner (nation’s top linebacker) finished off his senior season with 108 total tackles. It is rare that he misses, and adding him into the equation with Curits Lofton’s tackling ability would be an exceptional move by the Saints. During his four-year career at Alabama, C.J. Mosley totaled 319 tackles (23 for loss), 6.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 24 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and 3 defensive touchdowns. With the learning experience and preparation he has gained under Coach Nick Saban, Mosley may be one of the most NFL-ready athletes in the draft.
Curtis Lofton’s counterpart, David Hawthorne, finished second on the team in tackles in 2013, but despite the solid performance by last year’s crew, linebackers are one of the team’s bigger needs heading into the draft. Both Lofton and Hawthorne lack the athleticism to stretch the sidelines and cover receivers, but the explosiveness, awareness and lateral ability from Mosley can help benefit that field. C.J. Mosley would be a great fit to an already disruptive defense in the Big Easy. Will the New Orleans Saints target him?