Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley likely won't participate in the Reese's Senior Bowl, according to the all-star game's executive director, Phil Savage.
Mosley is projected as a first-round pick in this year's draft. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Mosley as the No. 9 prospect available. Savage indicated to al.com that Mosley's lofty draft status will likely compel him to withdraw his name.
"C.J. is committed to us," Savage said, "but I honestly don't think he's going to end up playing. I think with his draft status in the top 10, top 15, no worse than top 20, I think ultimately he'll bypass the game."
Players regarded as highly as Mosley often decline invitations to the game, often due to injury concerns or on advice from an agent, to avoid harming their draft stock. Mosley is one of five Alabama players on the South roster, along with linebacker Adrian Hubbard, who was added to the roster Wednesday, punter Cody Mandell, defensive end Ed Stinson and wide receiver Kevin Norwood. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and cornerback Deion Belue declined invitations, Belue reportedly due to injury. Both McCarron and his father indicated the decision was more a business one than one of health.
Mosley led Alabama with 108 tackles on the season and won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker. He also led the team in tackles for loss (nine) and broke up five passes. His pass coverage skills are a major reason Mosley is considered among the top linebackers available.
"He's a four-down linebacker. He can play the run. He can play the pass. He can cover kicks," Savage said. "He's the perfect linebacker for the kind of defense being played in the league now because he can defend the run straight at him, but then he can walk out and cover the pass. He's a very good player."