The perfect fit

The requirements call for a hefty load to play on the end of the line in one scheme and in the middle in another. The main responsibility is defending the run but having the ability to pressure the pocket is a definite plus. A player who can play both spots is garnering attention from everyone around the league as the NFL Draft nears.

The revival of the 3-4 defense has placed a demand on a number of positions on the football field. Defensive tackles are expected to play end and they are often weighing in at 300-plus pounds.

The prerequisite remains clogging up the lanes to allow linebackers to make plays.

Many of these players can also play on the interior of the line, something they are very familiar with. It means the interest in such a player is even higher.

A first-team All-Big 12 selection by the Associated Press in 2004, C.J. Mosley was the force behind a Tiger defense that ranked second in the league and 14th nationally in total yardage allowed.

He registered 61 tackles, including 14 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries as the team's Lineman of the Year.

A junior entry into the draft, teams have raced to find out more about the last official invitee to the Combines. With less information on him than graduating seniors, Mosley has been making waves.

"I knew it was my time to leave," he said. "I wanted to pursue football, of course, and it's my dream. I had two people pass on me recently, right around the same time, so I look at it like tomorrow ain't promised.

"I know that I can damn near out produce a lot of the D-tackles that are ranked above me or that are ranked up there. I would have to say I'm a sleeper."

His confident demeanor has been backed up by impressive workouts.

Mosley put up 27 reps on the bench press at the Combines and matched that number at his Pro Day. After running what he called a disappointing forty in Indianapolis, he ran a 5.09 at his Pro Day. Even that wasn't up to par for Mosley.

Despite weighing 314 pounds, Mosley wanted to break into the 4.9's.

"I weighed in at 314 at the combine," Mosley said. "My fastest 40 was a 4.89, so I wanted to run a 4.9, anywhere from 4.95 to 4.96. I was disappointed in that."

Just like the way he talks, Mosley's game is built on determination and aggressiveness.

It wasn't always that way for Mosley. Although he put up solid numbers as a sophomore, including 16 tackles for a loss, six sacks and seven quarterback hurries, his game was not refined and he admits he hadn't developed that killer instinct.

"You've got to aggressive to play the game of football," said Mosley. "My sophomore year I played real calm and made sure I did the right things. But junior year, I pushed it up — I tried to be more violent. There ain't no friends on the field at all. I had to learn the hard way."

Scouts have raved about his high-energy play and consider him to be a player with tremendous upside.

And that has made interest in him high. He has already had a private workout with the Jets and Vikings and names the Raiders, Chiefs, and Falcons among those who are very interested in him, adding, "The Chiefs, I don't think they want other people to know about me."

After his solid play as a junior on the Mizzou line and decision to leave school early, Mosley's name is rising up the draft boards.

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