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Ravens’ C.J. Mosley needs a coverage linebacker beside him

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NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC vs AFC Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After a ‘down year’ for the All-Pro linebacker, which featured three forced fumbles, two interceptions, a touchdown and 96 tackles, some fans were still unsatisfied with the coverage ability of C.J. Mosley. While I’ve argued for Mosley’s case—formidably—, I do believe a pairing with a coverage-inclined linebacker helps ease the pressure off Mosley’s shoulders.

During Daryl Smith’s stint with Baltimore, Mosley was a fiend. He was allowed to rush the passer, producing seven sacks in two seasons. He could cheat up to the line or take risks, rather than lock into his role. The skill of Smith on the back-end, combined with the Ravens’ vicious pass-rush of Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs and Pernell McPhee, all culminated in the impressive delayed A-gap blitz, which Mosley attacked through the middle, his specialty.

But now, Sizzle is fighting Father Time and the younger linebackers aren’t yet out-producing an older Suggs. This further burdens Mosley into a strict set of staying back in coverage, one of his few weaknesses, though it’s not atrocious, rather than making tackles and creating big-plays for the Ravens defense closer to the line.

One thing skipped over this past year was the loss of Zachary Orr. No longer did the Ravens have a sure thing as their ILB2. They were starting Patrick Onwausor as his counterpart, while also rotating in Anthony Levine Sr. in dime packages or specific coverage’s. This, as mentioned multiple times now, pressured Mosley towards perfect play, or obvious mistakes occurred.

Mosley cannot rely upon Zachary Orr’s speed and skill, nor Daryl Smith negating passes on the back-end. He also can’t cover forever, as he’s 6’3” and 234 lbs., meaning when the aforementioned young pass rushers aren’t pressuring the quarterback, he’s getting beat.

While the Ravens need weapons on offense, and they certainly tend to draft a cornerback annually, due to the yearly corner curse before the season begins, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Ravens seek out a second inside linebacker to pair with ‘Half-man half-amazing’.