C.J. Mosley hardly had a blemish on his rookie campaign.
He won a starting job early in training camp and quickly became one of the Ravens' top defenders. He led the team in tackles, made the Pro Bowl, earned first-team All-Pro honors and is one of the top candidates to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Mosley lived up to his billing as a first-round pick, and demonstrated that he could be the foundation of the defense for years to come.
He was modest about his accomplishments, however.
"For a rookie, I think I did pretty well," Mosley said after he packed up his locker to head into the offseason. "But I'm a rookie, so I've got a lot to work on and I can only go up from here."
Mosley started every game during the season, and played more snaps than any other player on the roster. The No. 17 overall pick almost never came off the field, and he finished the season with 129 total tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, eight passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
He was the only player in the NFL with least 125 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.
"C.J. Mosley is the next young, great linebacker if he chooses to do all the right things and if he gets a little good fortune," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He played this year at a high, high level – a Pro Bowl level."
His teammates also see a bright future for the Alabama product.
"Awesome first year – just scratching the surface – and he's a special player," fellow inside linebacker Daryl Smith said. "Look for more big things from him."
Mosley was one of four Ravens selected to this year's Pro Bowl, and he'll spend next week in Arizona playing in the annual all-star game. He is one of three rookies around the NFL initially selected for the Pro Bowl.
While his resume stacks up with the best rookie campaigns in franchise history – he's the first rookie to make a Pro Bowl in team history – Mosley has his sights on even loftier goals next year.
"I know I can get better," he said. "There [are] a lot of things I can work on, and it's my first year, so there's a lot to improve on.
Mosley specifically plans to work on developing his footwork and film study, and he also wants to bulk up in the weight room.
"I want to make sure that I maintain a good weight, and maybe gain a few pounds of muscle," he said. "That's going to come in time."
Mosley will make the trip to Arizona next week, along with the Ravens coaching staff, to enjoy a little more football before putting an end to the season. After the Pro Bowl, Mosley will finally take a little time away from the game.
Like all rookies, Mosley has been going full-speed since the pre-draft process began a year ago, and now he finally has a chance to catch his breath.
"It's been a long season, but at the end of the day it feels like I just started," he said. "I just took this year and took it all in, learned from mistakes and the positive things that I've done. I'll take this little break for a few weeks, or a month, and then get right back at it."