Mosley goes pro

After a strong, but not stellar, junior season, defensive tackle C.J. Mosley decided to skip his final season of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft, the team announced Tuesday. Mosley's departure leaves an inexperienced group to handle the Tigers' defensive line next season.

Mosley signed with National Sports Agency, a player representative firm in St. Louis, removing any chance of returning to the Tigers if he was unhappy with his potential draft position.

Mosley should draw some professional interest after a junior season that earned him a spot on the Associated Press' All-Big 12 first team. He finished with 61 tackles, including 14 for loss, and 6.5 sacks. His efforts earned him the designation of the Tigers' defensive lineman of the year.

"We had hoped to have C.J. back with us for another year, but certainly will be supportive of him as he goes through this process," coach Gary Pinkel said in a release. "C.J. is a high-level player, and I know that he has a great opportunity in front of him. It was a tough decision for him, and I know he went back and forth quite a bit before making this final choice."

Mosley's departure leaves the Tigers greatly inexperienced on the defensive front. With starters Atiyyah Ellison and Zach Ville gone because of graduation, Missouri is left with juniors-to-be Xzavie Jackson and Brian Smith as its most experienced defensive linemen. Jackson and Smith are best suited for defensive end, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of the Missouri defense.

Senior-to-be Earl Stephens, who recorded two tackles and one sack backing up Mosley this season, is the most experienced returning tackle. Other potential contributors include junior-to-be Fabian Bean, senior-to-be George Lane and redshirt freshmen-to-be Stryker Sulak and Calcius Williams.