Current elite Alabama defender, C.J. Mosley, is the 10th Tide linebacker to be chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft. Lee Roy Jordan (1963, 6th) was the founding trailblazer of the esteemed club. Although separated in age by decades the reputation as tackling machines unites the productive duo. Jordan, an Excel, (AL) native once intercepted three passes in a quarter. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and named to the NFL Pro Bowl five times.
C.J. Mosley is the latest version with the multiple skills set capable of contributing as an every down backer. The 6-2, 234 pound senior led the team in tackles as a senior (108) and junior (107) and finished with 319 career total tackles, third all-time in school history. He had 174 solo tackles, 23 for loss, 6.5 sacks, 15 quarterback pressures, forced two fumbles and recovered one in his four-year career at The Capstone. Mosley is effective inside at the mike position or can shift outside with equal competence to play the will.
His ball-hawking instincts led to five interceptions, three returned for touchdowns tying him with former Alabama All-America cornerback Antonio Langham for the school record. Mosley had 19 pass deflections and led the team with 10 as a freshman. The two-time consensus First Team All-American was the 2013 Butkus Award Winner and twice honored as a First Team All-SEC performer. A natural leader, Mosley was named a tri-captain as a senior and the team's Most Valuable Player in 2013.
Scout.com rated the Theodore HS (AL) product a five-star talent and number one overall at the MLB position in 2010. He has shown outstanding lateral ability with sideline-to-sideline range, textbook tackling technique and an aptitude for diagnosing plays. He was the second inside linebacker ever chosen by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. The first was Ray Lewis (1996, 26th), coincidentally a player Mosley admires. C.J. Mosley is the perfect candidate to fulfill the rich tradition established by prior Tide stars.
Alabama Linebackers selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (*Chosen during the Nick Saban era)
1963 Lee Roy Jordan, Dallas Cowboys, 6th overall
1979 Barry Krauss, Indianapolis Colts, 6th overall
1981 E.J. Junior, St. Louis Cardinals, 5th overall
1985 Emanuel King, Cincinnati Bengals, 25th overall
1987 Cornelius Bennett, Indianapolis Colts, 2nd overall
1989 Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs, 4th overall
1997 Dwayne Rudd, Minnesota Vikings, 20th overall
2012 *Dont'a Hightower, New England Patriots, 25th overall
2014 *C.J. Mosley, Baltimore Ravens, 17th overall