Earlier this week, ESPN's draft guru, Todd McShay, released his first mock draft of the year. In it he has the New York Giants selecting University of Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. The last two linebackers the Giants have taken in the first round were Carl Banks and Lawrence Taylor, so it has been a while especially for a team that once had one of the greatest linebacking corps in the history of the game. The Giants have not had succeed in drafting linebackers late recently (Clint Sintim, Bryan Kehl, and Greg Jones). Before we jump into Mosley's credentials, lets take a look at McShay's analysis of the pick:
"The Giants need help on the offensive line, which is why Michigan's Taylor Lewan and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio will be options if they drop to them. But I actually think interior O-line is a bigger issue for New York, and when you draft this high in the order as rarely as the Giants do, you need to get more impact out of the pick than a guard.
McShay is right that the Giants need to get impact from a top twelve pick, and they will be able to fill the guard hole in the second and third rounds. Needing to hit a home run and Jadeveon Clowney likely being off the board puts the Giants in a predicament. Do you reach for your bigger need of a guard or select Mosley or Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard? C.J. Mosley would be a great fit for the New York Giants and would fit nicely next to Jon Beason if he decides to return. He is a prototypical WILL linebacker at the NFL level, and given how much defensive coordinator Perry Fewell likes to drop linebackers into coverage Mosley would fit nicely into the system.
A leader on the field and a three time BCS National Champion, Mosley is an intelligent football player with great instincts. He needs to improve on getting off of blocks when one on one, but that is really his only weakness. Mosley has great range when dropping into zone coverage and his ball skills are top notch for the linebacker position. Where Mosley really stars is versus the run, where he closes extremely fast and is always making plays outside of the tackle box. He is excellent at reading the run and staying home, so Mosley would be a great asset against teams like Carolina or San Francisco. He also blitzes with reckless abandon and loves to deliver the big hit.
Overall, C.J. Mosley would be an excellent pick for the New York Giants should he be available. His injury past (dislocated elbow, dislocated hip, and shoulder surgery) could be a concern, but Mosley only missed two games in his four year college career. Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers took a chance on former Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who had neck concerns going into the draft. Jones has played well, totaling 31 solo tackles so far this year.
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