I'm bored, so I'm doing this. What makes CJ Mosley a great player, no wait, what makes CJ Mosley an ELITE player? Well you could talk about the great character this kid has, you could talk all about God given talent, but how about we plug in some of his games from this past season and we talk about what really makes CJ great. I wanna stop you right here though, I'll be providing (in this post anyway) a video link to CJ Mosley's performance against Missouri. If you're not going to want to keep going to the times I tell you to so you can see what I'm talking about, then I guess you probably won't wanna go any further. Keep in mind this was a rainy day in Missouri, but CJ did still have a fantastic game.
Link : CJ Mosley vs Missouri 2012
CJ Mosley is listed at 6'2" and around 238lbs. Maybe that weight isn't very appealing to some teams, they say, "Oh this guy is undersized, he's a skinny kid who can't attack against the run.", well that's how you're going to be able to tell who really watched CJ tape and who just looked at some stats and piggy backed on what others are saying. One thing to note, CJ has really long arms. What do long arms do for you as an Inside Linebacker? To most people, or more casual fans, long arms are good for lineman and rush backers to hold off OL, and they're good for CBs to expand their wingspan and to press on the line. Well for CJ, it helps him do a number of things. He isn't the strongest Linebacker, so he isn't going to flat out overpower Centers and Guards, especially in the NFL, but his long arms are key.
In the video, go to 4:23. The play that starts there is the first play we will look at. Now, see how CJ uses his long arms to keep number 61 off of him? The OL could never block him out of the play because he couldn't get his hands on his body. CJ's long arms allowed him to let the play come up to him and then he disengages and on this play he doesn't make the tackle, but he gets to the ball carrier.
On the very next play CJ avoids number 77 with his arms and stops the ball carrier.
Now we can move on to coverage. We all hear it all the time, CJ Mosley is great in coverage. Well, what makes him so good at it? For starters it's understanding concepts and taking good angles. Football is alot about angles, and you'll notice CJ Mosley never takes a bad angle, he'll never take himself out of a play. Many times you see CJ take a good angle and get the ball carrier for sure after three or four yards, but a lot of guys would take a bad angle and have a pretty poor chance at stopping the back after a shorter gain. Take the sure thing. Coverage is a lot about angles, as we know there are two types of coverages in football. Man coverage, and zone coverage. We all know the difference. For an Inside Linebacker who mans up against a running back you wanna see how he plays him.
Go to the play that starts at 4:00 in the video. The back is rolling out into the flat on a passing play, CJ stays 4-5 yards in front of him and just mirrors him, if the QB throws that ball out there CJ has won. That's not a bullet throw, it's not really a lob either, but CJ is in position where he's waiting, if the RB sees the ball coming, CJ knows it, and he comes up field and likely makes contact as the ball gets there to break it up. If the back can get the ball before CJ can run down hill on him, CJ is back waiting, and he's gonna make a clean tackle in space. The QB doesn't throw it to the RB on this play though, so we don't get to see exact scenarios playing out.
Now go to the play that starts the video. The ball IS thrown to the back and CJ stops it for no gain. People know CJ is good in coverage based off of stuff like this, not based off of inflated INT numbers.
Now go to the play around 0:27 really quick, it appears as though CJ Mosley is able to outrun Dee Milliner (sub 4.4) and Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, but really he's taking a great angle at full speed. He knows that he has teammates who are gonna slow down the runner, so he can fly at full speed for this play and thump him out of bounds if he gets the chance.
Now this is an example of Zone coverage, go to 1:09 and begin watching the replay that Gary is discussing with Verne. CJ is in zone coverage, he turns towards the WR who could enter his zone, and once he cuts for the Out and is away from Mosley's zone, CJ flips and goes back to the center of his zone, when the ball is thrown he flips the hips fast and gets turned around ready to make a tackle on the WR, however Sunseri picks the pass off.
1:52 is another example of CJ taking a great angle and not letting the back have a chance to break away.
At 1:58 CJ blitzes and against a young guy uses his speed to wedge through and then he immediately turns it to the Quarterback and gets the sack. Doesn't overpurse and keep going towards the outside, he just turns and zooms in on his target. He's a great blitzer too, so his value on passing downs alone is extraordinary.
The very next play highlights CJ in coverage against a WR, he comes up and gets into his hip and makes the sure tackle after the catch. He isn't able to break the pass up, but he's able to bring down the WR instantly.
So I didn't really tell you anything that you probably didn't already know, just provided a link and some times to back up everything I'm saying about CJ in this thread. Might do Michigan later.