Ray Lewis, now an analyst on ESPN, had a positive reaction to the Baltimore Ravens selecting inside linebacker C.J. Mosley during the first round Thursday night. The former inside linebacker and future Hall of Fame player for the Ravens, Ray Lewis was selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and was the last first round inside linebacker taken until Mosley's name was called last night.
Ray Lewis had this to say about the selection:
I think this is a great pick for Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens. Mosley has the instincts to take the defense to the next level.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Owner Steve Bisciotti were listening in to Lewis' analysis with glee. "This is a leader at the position of linebacker," Lewis said, as the Ravens brass listened. "I left there a couple years ago, but when you watch this kid play football, his instinct is what impresses me the most. He’s very patient with his feet, he stays in the pocket and when he gets there. … He’s a read-it-and-react guy."
Mosley is coming into Baltimore expected to be a starting linebacker. He should see time at both inside and outside as the Ravens like the mix up player positions and Daryl Smith is currently the starting inside linebacker. However, with Smith having turned 32 in March, it isn't expected that he fulfills his entire contract which brings the need to groom the future face of the Ravens' defense in Mosley.
Obviously, Mosley and Lewis will be compared throughout Mosley's career here in Baltimore and for good reason. The description of Mosley as a slightly undersized, quick and smart linebacker sounds almost exactly like the description used on Lewis during the 1996 draft. While few player reach the level that Lewis was able to, it will be interesting to see how Mosley deals with the added pressure of being the face of the Baltimore defense and the comparisons.
Tonight marks the second and third rounds of the NFL draft. With the Ravens still needing help at free safety, offensive tackle, defensive line, wide receiver, running back and corner back, the Ravens have enough open need to be able to grab the best player available and still hit a need. Tune in here at Baltimore Beatdown for live breakdown of the picks and analysis on any moves and selections the Ravens make.