Saban says CJ Mosley will return to school next year, a major plus for Bama.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) December 20, 2012
As you can see from the tweet above, Nick Saban announced at a press conference today that C.J. Mosley will not be turning pro. It’s not a major surprise – many of Alabama’s big name defensive players have gone the distance over the last few years. He would’ve been an option for the Seahawks at the WILL position in the first two rounds of next April’s draft. Despite today’s news, Alec Ogletree is still expected to declare while seniors Arthur Brown and Khaseem Greene will make up for the loss of Mosley from the 2013 draft class.
Cordarrelle Patterson is definitely declaring the 2013 NFL Draft.
That’s according to Tennesee’s new Head Football Coach Butch Jones, who wished him well and left it at that.
There’s a reason I keep coming back to this guy. I watched an awful lot of Vols games this year and sure enough – there are some issues. He’s far from the finished article. He’ll enter the league having spent one year in the NCAA as a JUCO transfer. All those words used to describe a guy in this situation – ‘raw’, ‘undercooked’… they all apply.
And yet he has such fantastic physical potential, you just can’t help but get excited. Ideal height (6-4), weight (205lbs) speed (legit 4.3/4.4 runner) and production (record setting all-purpose yards season). He could be the next big thing. Truly, he could.
He chose Tennessee despite serious interest from virtually every big school in the SEC. He visited LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia. He had offers from Arkansas, Miami, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Baylor. In the end he probably made the right decision. Despite Tennessee’s struggles this year, he went to a team that found different ways to get the ball in his hands. From the three big name prospects turning pro from that school (Justin Hunter, Tyler Bray and Patterson) – he’s the one with some momentum.
I put him in the top-15 of my updated mock draft yesterday with good reason. Despite all of the ‘boom or bust’ labels he’ll receive, you just can’t get away from the upside. He’s a threat to score every single time the ball’s in his hands. Couldn’t the Dolphins do with a player like that? A big time playmaker to aid the development of Ryan Tannehill? Would he get past a team like Minnesota, who clearly need someone to take some of the strain away from Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin? And if he does make it to the Seahawks, would they not consider adding an explosive receiver to this offense? An offense that’s zoned in to quick strikes in the passing game?
A few years ago Mel Kiper was beating the drum for a similar player, this time on the defensive side of the ball. His name was Jason Pierre-Paul. Terrific athlete, major upside and looked the part on tape. But he was raw. He seemed unprepared for the pro-game, maybe even a little immature. Yet Kiper promoted that guy and in fairness, he was justified in doing so. He might not be the first to the party this time regarding Patterson, but he’s similarly intrigued by Patterson. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see a similar outcome, with CP going on to become one of the league’s more dynamic talents.
Prospect watch: BYU vs San Diego State
BYU has one of the better senior defensive lineman on their roster in Ezekiel Ansah. He’s 6-6 and 278lbs and his best football will likely come at the next level. Although he’s not an obvious target for the Seahawks (not a LEO, Seattle has depth with Clemons/Irvin), he has prototype size for the end position and a lot of upside. Also keep an eye on Kyle Van Noy – an undersized outside linebacker who’s registered 11.5 sacks this year. He’ll have a tough decision to make over whether to declare or not, but he could be a mid-rounder next April. I’ve posted a game tape video below of his performance against San Jose State.
A player perhaps more relevant for Seahawks fans is San Diego State tight end Gavin Escobar. He’s a pure pass-catcher and doesn’t do much blocking – but at 6-5 and 255lbs he’s the latest candidate for the ‘could be the next Jimmy Graham’ award. Escobar’s a tremendous athlete for his size and could easily be a second round pick. He’s had big games and very quiet games this year, but hopefully he’ll end the season on a high-note and put on a show for the watching NFL scouts.
A further thought on yesterday’s mock update
Click here to see this weeks ‘far too early’ projection. I think Zach Ertz will interest Seattle if he does declare. There’s no doubting the Seahawks need to do something at receiver or tight end. Right now they’re an injury away to Sidney Rice or Golden Tate and life will become very difficult for Russell Wilson. Ideally, they find a receiver that warrants a high pick. Brandon Coleman, Cordarrelle Patterson, DeAndre Hopkins, Markus Wheaton… there are options out there. They also have a lot of money invested in Zach Miller and Anthony McCoy continues to show enough potential to keep the faith that he can deliver on his major upside.
However, there’s something about Ertz that screams ‘Seattle’.
The Seahawks are already using a lot of 2TE sets. I suspect they’d like to do so even more. Ertz is a good enough blocker (others disagree, but I think it’s actually a strong point of his) to stay on the field for any play call. At Stanford he and Levine Toilolo are pretty much the primary targets in the passing game. They run the ball a lot, utilise play action and look to get the tight ends lined up against linebackers. Theoretically the Seahawks could use Rice and Tate out wide with Ertz and Miller at the line of scrimmage. That’s four legitimate targets for Russell Wilson in a formation that traditionally screams ‘run play’ to the defense.
If necessary, there’s nothing to stop Ertz lining up in the slot or even out wide. He does it at Stanford. It’s not an unthinkable move for the Seahawks.
In round two I went for Khaseem Greene. After Alec Ogletree and Arthur Brown, he’s probably the most logical WILL prospect for this defense. He’s right up there with C.J. Mosley in that regard. He’s an athlete without ideal size for the position, but the Seahawks aren’t asking their linebackers to get too involved in the trenches. They want to rush four, let the defensive line do its job and free up the linebackers and defensive backs to make plays. Ogletree, Brown, Greene or Mosley would be terrific additions to a growing defense. Of course, unless they can add a pass rushing three-technique (the teams greatest need), they’ll struggle to make the most of that second level talent.
Kyle Van Noy (LB, BYU) tape vs San Jose State