The Buffalo Bills struck gold with a rookie linebacker in the 2013 draft class and might be willing to try again.
Alabama's C.J. Mosley (6-foot-2, 234 pounds) visited with the Bills on Thursday. He is the best inside linebacker in the draft and might be the second-best linebacker overall, behind only Khalil Mack. Buffalo owns the No. 9 pick in the first round. NFL teams usually don't take inside linebackers that early, but Mosley's skill set could mean that changes this year.
Buffalo took Kiko Alonso in the second round of the 2013 draft, and he ended up taking home the Pro Football Writers Association's defensive rookie of the year honors. Alonso started on the outside opposite Manny Lawson. Buffalo also signed two notable linebackers in free agency -- Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers -- which would seem to preclude the Bills from taking Mosley.
Buffalo runs a 4-3, and NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has said Mosley is "ideally suited" as a middle linebacker in a 4-3. Presumably, that is where Spikes will start. But some analysts think Mosley also can play on the outside in a 4-3, and the Bills could think Mosley would be an upgrade over Lawson at strongside linebacker.
Mosley is a three-down linebacker known for his work against the run but also is considered a solid coverage linebacker.
Buffalo also could be in the market for an offensive tackle, a wide receiver, a tight end, a safety and a cornerback at No. 9. And Bills general manager Doug Whaley said the Bills would be willing to trade up if necessary.
Whaley on moving up in the draft: "If we think a guy would help us make the playoffs, why wouldn't we make the deal?" #BillsDraftâ Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) April 25, 2014
Getting Mosley would not require trading up. Mosley generally is considered a prospect who will go in the early to mid-teens.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.