One of the most popular questions in NFL draft rooms each spring is "Who does this guy remind you of?"
During my eight years as an NFL scout, I would spend the fall constructing scouting reports on each prospect in my area and then I would present those reports during our spring draft meetings. In these sessions, the decision-makers in the organization would often ask me to compare the prospect being discussed to a current or former NFL player. Every year, it became easier to find a comparable player for the draft prospects. I'd write between 300-400 reports during every draft cycle and after a few years, there was a deep pool of names to pull from when looking for a similar player.
When I discuss player evaluations on Twitter, the question I'm asked the most is the same one: "Who does this guy remind you of?" One NFL draft prospect we're going to hear and read a lot about over the next few months is Alabama senior linebacker C.J. Mosley. He's the defensive leader of the No. 1 team in the nation and he's expected to be a very high pick in the upcoming draft. So, for this week's Ask 5 question, I decided to flip the script. Instead of being asked, I did the asking.
I asked five NFL personnel executives to give me an NFL comparison (current or former player) for Mosley. Here are their answers:
"Mosley is a better version of a young Jon Beason. He's a little better against both the run and the pass."
"His instincts and playmaking ability remind me of Derrick Brooks."
"He's a younger, more athletic version of D'Qwell Jackson. He's an active, instinctive linebacker with good toughness. He's not a great take-on guy."
"He reminds me a lot of Kuechly. They are both athletic in coverage and they rely more on instincts than pure strength to make plays against the run."
Verdict: One vote apiece for Beason, Brooks, Jackson, Kuechly and Bowman.
Conclusion: I was a little surprised we didn't see a name pop up more than once but I can't argue with any of the players mentioned above. I saw a little bit of each of those players when I studied Mosley over the summer. There is never a perfect match when comparing players during the draft process, but there are definitely singular traits that different players share. In this case, each of the linebackers listed above has a strong reputation built on instincts and athleticism. Those are two outstanding qualities for a linebacker, and these executives believe Mosley grades out strong in both areas.