Scout's Notebook: C Dan Mozes

Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent, West Virginia center Dan Mozes is among a strong crop of prospects who will be competing for backup spots on the active roster and/or the practice squad in training camp later this summer. A backup spot behind Matt Birk is wide open, so Mozes has a very legitimate chance to stick. Here's a complete scouting report…

#67, Dan Mozes, C
(6025, 293, 5.27-5.48) West Virginia

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Personal:  Born 9/15/83.  Parents are Tom and Joann Mozes.  Attended Washington (Pa.) High School, playing football for head coach Guy Montecalvo.  Team captain and three-time small-school all-state selection.  Added All-Interstate Conference honors three times and was named Washington Observer-Reporter Defensive Player of the Year, recording 10½ sacks and 95 tackles as a senior.  The two-way lineman helped lead the Prexies to the Class 2A state title, a WPIAL championship and a 15-0 record his final season.  Also lettered in basketball and baseball.  Had surgery on both shoulders in high school.  Resides in Washington, PA.

College:  A four-year starter.  Enrolled at West Virginia in 2002, where he spent the season on the scout team as an offensive guard.  He took over left guard duties in 2003, starting every game.  He was hampered the last three games after suffering a hip strain against Pittsburgh in November, but still earned freshman All-American and All-Big East honors from The Sporting News.  In 2004, Mozes started all 12 games at left guard, earning All-Big East first-team and Academic All-Big East accolades.  He was also the recipient of the Gridiron Gladiator Award, given by the WVU coaches for on-field tenacity.  The following season, Mozes picked up All-American second-team and All-Big East first-team recognition.  He started the first two games at left guard and then shifted to center for the rest of the year.  Like the 2003 season, a late-season injury against Cincinnati (high left ankle sprain) would see him play through pain for the team's remaining three games.  Limited in spring drills due to shoulder surgery, but came back strong as the 2006 season was Mozes' best, winning the Rimington Award as the nations’ top center and a consensus All-American, he also added All-Big East and Academic All-Big East honors.  He did not allow any sacks as the offense registered 273 first downs and 63 touchdowns.  Communications major, earning Academic All-Big East Conference honors (2003-05).  Also added CoSIDA Academic All-District and school Athletic Director's Academic Honor Roll recognition.

Measured 6025, 293 pounds at the combine.  His best results in drills:  29 reps at 225 pounds; posted a 1.84 10-yard dash, 3.11 20-yard dash, 5.27 40-yard dash, 4.64 20-yard shuttle, 7.67 3-cone drill.  He also recorded a 26 ½ inch vertical jump and 8’-5” broad jump.  He ran a 4.39 forty at the combine.  Has bench-pressed 480 pounds, squats 600 and power cleans 355.  He has 10-inch hands and is left-handed.

Pro:  Signed as a rookie free agent by the Vikings following the 2007 NFL Draft.  He chose the Vikings over a strong offer from the Denver Broncos, citing a lack of experienced depth behind Matt Birk at center.  Mozes made Pro Football Weekly’s list of top undrafted players, ranking 146 overall on their draft board.

Positives:  Smart with very good instincts and awareness.  Makes the line calls.  Leader-type in the pivot who works extremely hard.  Technically sound with great intangibles.  Understands angles, leverage, footwork, hand use, etc.  Quick and agile.  Can pull and trap and block on the move effectively.  Comes off the ball well and shows some initial pop.  Has a nasty streak and sustains and finishes his blocks nicely.  Does a nice job recognizing and adjusting to blitzes and stunts.  Has a lot of college-level experience.  Has some experience at guard, offering versatility.  Tough, plays through injuries. 

Negatives:  Undersized and lacks natural bulk.  Has short arms.  Is not a great athlete.  Struggles with massive nose tackles and gets engulfed at times by bigger defenders.  Has had some shoulder and hip problems and durability could be an issue.

Summary:  An effective combination-type blocker who will do best in a zone-blocking scheme.  Has an excellent chance to at least make the practice squad with the Vikings and perhaps the 53-man roster.  Could develop into a very effective Jeff Christy-type center in the NFL.

What they said: 

“Center Dan Mozes was projected as a late-round pick by most draft guides coming into the draft (and the fourth-best center in the draft according to Pro Football Weekly)…He may never be a top-notch starter, but he was a very productive starter at West Virginia and is heady enough to be a very solid backup who can also play guard.” – JJ Cooper, The Fanhouse

“Scrappy, versatile zone blocker with the intelligence, toughness and short-area quickness to develop into a fine pro.  May not always look pretty doing the job but usually gets it done well.” – Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly

“A real overachiever, Mozes gets the most out of what he has and plays the game with a warrior mentality…He reminds me a lot of former North Carolina center Jeff Saturday, who came out of college with similar concerns surrounding his game, but has done a nice job anchoring the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line.” – Mel Kiper, Jr.

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