Baltimore Ravens

Ravens rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley proving to be a quick study

It was just a routine rookie minicamp, filled with individual and team drills with no contact work or major lasting impressions formed.

From watching Ravens first-round inside linebacker C.J. Mosley drop into pass coverage and react to run plays, it was obvious that he's fast and instinctive.


The former Alabama star seems to be picking up the Ravens' defensive scheme quickly.

"Probably the first impression is that he seems very comfortable in a defense," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week. "He understands the game very well. So, he's been really well-coached, obviously. That was a big plus coming out, we knew that.


"But it's not like he doesn't know what gap he is fitting in. It's not like he doesn't know what adjustment to make. That's a long way ahead for a rookie. Plus, he is athletic, and he moves around really well."

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The Ravens selected Mosley with the 17th overall pick after a career where he won the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the nation, was named a consensus All-American and the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded 319 career tackles, 6.5 sacks, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Mosley is expected to quickly compete for a starting job at weak-side inside linebacker opposite veteran middle linebacker Daryl Smith.

The Ravens haven't signed Mosley to a contract yet, but are expected to talk with him as soon as this week. When he signs, he's slotted for an $8.787 million deal and a $4.711 million signing bonus.

Mosley recorded 108 tackles, nine for losses last season for the Crimson Tide.

"Smart, tough, instinctive, fluid smooth," inside linebackers coach Don "Wink" Martindale said following the draft. "I put in my report how he uses his hands in getting off blocks better than anybody I've seen in the 10 years that I've been in this league."