Tennessee Titans: C.J. Mosley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Often times, a team has a hole and feels a ticking clock until it’s filled.

Good drafting requires talent recognition, patience and an understanding of how your peers value positions and people.

Mosley
The Tennessee Titans need a running back, and taking one in the second round could amount to hurrying there, though they could reasonably take Tre Mason, Carlos Hyde or even Jeremy Hill.

They don’t have a third-round pick, but could easily wait until the fourth or even fifth round to snag a running back. They believe, as do many analysts, that there are capable backs who will be available then.

I think they need an inside linebacker, too.

They brought in free-agent Wesley Woodyard to man one of the spots in the middle in the new 3-4 scheme. Holdover Moise Fokou has some NFL 3-4 experience. After that, are the guys they have in the middle -- Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy, Zaviar Gooden -- correctly cast there?

I think a young guy who is tailored to the system and can be on the field every down is a need. Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is an attractive candidate who will be a first-round pick.

But just like teams believe running backs can be found later, the view is often the same about interior linebackers.

“I think typically you can get those guys in the middle rounds,” general manager Ruston Webster said. “There’s some depth at that spot.”

It seems to me it’s advantageous to be in need at two spots where there will not be any sort of mad rush for players, and the shape of and priorities in the draft will allow the Titans to focus elsewhere earlier if they so desire.
Wrapping up our weeklong look at five possibilities for the Tennessee Titans at No. 11, in no particular order.

Monday was UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Tuesday was Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Wednesday was North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and Thursday was Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Today we wrap up with ...

Mosley
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley

The good: Has a great football IQ that helps him consistently diagnose plays, find the ball and make big plays. Draws comparisons to Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David, an excellent player.

The bad: We’ll hit on his injury history below. Outside of that it’s hard to find his downside. No. 11 might be too high for an inside linebacker, a position that is not often super-valued in the draft.

Room for him: The Titans have a lot of guys to sort through for inside linebacker spots. But beyond free-agent addition Wesley Woodyard, none are proven in a 3-4. Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy, Moise Fokou and Zaviar Gooden all have question marks. Mosley would leap ahead of any of them.

How ESPN.com’s resident scout, Matt Williamson, sees him fitting with the Titans: “I love this pick for the Titans. To me, this defense needs a leader and a face of the defense, which describes Mosley to a 'T.' He is highly productive, versatile and really has no holes in his game on the field. Durability is his only real question mark.

Positives from our scouting report: Rates as exceptional in production, intangibles and range against the run. Consistently makes plays outside tackle box. Has a good feel for scraping down the line and sifting through traffic. Outstanding closing speed to ball carrier.”

Negatives from our scouting reports: Rates as below average in durability. “Missed two games in 2011 (Florida, Vanderbilt) with a dislocated elbow. Also dislocated his hip in BCS national championship game that season. Returned to play in all 14 games (11 starts) in 2012. Underwent right shoulder surgery following the 2012 season, which limited his participation in 2013 spring practices. Started all 13 in 2013.”

Likelihood in my eyes he’s available at No. 11: High.

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