May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA;
(Alabama) stands for photos with his jersey after being selected as the number seventeen overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
For the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL, the first round of the 2014 draft is over. True to form, Ozzie Newsome went with the best player available and selected C.J. Mosley from (guess where?!) Alabama!
Talk of Mosley not being able to or trying to fill Ray Lewis‘ shoes is filling cyberspace right now.
As a giant statue of Lewis is being put in front of M&T Bank Stadium, we see the NFL rules and defensive play changing in significant ways. Mosley won’t really have a chance to crush receivers over the middle like Lewis did anyway. He’d get fined, and probably suspended too. The NFL now stands for “Not For Lewis”, or “Not For Long” when you make those kind of hits.
Ray was part of a great NFL generation that spewed toughness, aggressiveness, physicality, brutality, and durability. Unfortunately players got hurt. They also found that their bodies weren’t doing too well after ten to fifteen years of it. Now there’s a surprise!
Now the NFL is trying to figure out how to balance safety and football. Good luck with THAT one! Its like trying to balance a polar bear and a kitten or trying to keep David Lee Roth touring with Eddie Van Halen. Not gonna happen.
In the meantime we fans will miss the big hits and whine over officials throwing flags for tackling and aggressiveness. You can forget about Mosley being the next Ray Lewis, but he’ll be a great linebacker for the Ravens and provide a winning edge!