The Bills only have a few pre-draft visits left of their maximum of 30, but on Thursday they hosted a top flight LB prospect in Alabama’s C.J. Mosley and an intriguing FCS level running back in Towson’s Terrance West.
LB C.J. Mosley
Mosley (6-2 234) is seen by most NFL talent evaluators as the top inside linebacker prospect in the draft. The leader of the Crimson Tide defense, Mosley has some of the sharpest instincts in the draft class when it comes to diagnosing run and pass.
Blessed with long arms and big hands, Mosley effectively sheds blocks and gets to the ball. With better than 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons Mosley has two of the three highest tackle totals by an Alabama linebacker in the last 25 years. Only DeMeco Ryans (126 - 2003) had more in a single season over that span.
What likely makes him attractive to the Bills is he played in a ‘stop the run first’ system under Nick Saban, an area Buffalo is certainly looking to improve after finishing 28th against the run in 2013. Mosley has shown an ability to cover backs out of the backfield. How extensive he’ll be used on passing downs in the NFL however, is a subject of debate.
Mosley clocked a 4.68 40 time at the NFL combine, and improved that number with a 4.63 at the Alabama pro day. He also had a 35-inch vertical and nine-foot 10-inch broad jump.
There is a bit of an injury history that has raised durability concerns. In 2011 he suffered a dislocated elbow. In the BCS title game in 2012 he dislocated his hip. He also had shoulder surgery after the 2012 season. All told he missed just two games in his college career.
With air tight intangibles and a solid family background Mosley is forecast as a potential top 10 draft choice, and at worst will be off the board by the middle of round one.
“As a football player an NFL team is going to get somebody that’s is going to be relentless no matter if he’s on special teams or whether he’s on defense or whatever position they have me at,” Mosley told NFL Network’s Mike Mayock at his pro day. “And as a person they’re going to get a loyal person and humble and always committed to what I’m doing.”
RB Terrance West
Built low to the ground with a thick build throughout West pounds defenders and gains yards after contact by slipping tackles to extend plays. He is not seen as a home-run hitter, but he had his share of long touchdowns at the FCS level. West also had more opportunities to show his catching ability this past season as he made 26 of his 36 career receptions in 2013 including one for a score. His 2,509 rushing yards this past season set an FCS single-season rushing record as he earned multiple All-American honors.
His performance earned an invite to the NFL combine where West ran a 4.54 40 time had 16 reps on the bench, a 33.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot broad jump. Armed with a strong work ethic West is projected as a third round pick.
"I’m just staying humble and hungry, whatever happens, happens,” said West. “I just want to do my part and leave it up to God. It's just amazing where I came from and what I overcame. A lot of people would have been gave up and turned in their cleats. I just kept pushing and overcame all the obstacles."