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WVU's Mozes expects to go on NFL draft's second day

| Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rick Trickett makes his living shouting orders to college offensive linemen almost twice his size.

He laughed at the suggestion West Virginia All-American center Dan Moses is too light to throw his weight around in NFL trenches.

"Well, I've seen a lot worse playing out there in the NFL right now," said Trickett, the former Mountaineers offensive line coach.

Trickett, the new Florida State line coach, knows what it takes to play on the next level. He's helped 21 of his former LSU, Auburn, Mississippi State and West Virginia players join NFL training camp rosters during the past two decades.

"A lot of kids play football, but not every kid loves it," Trickett said. "Money isn't the thing with him. Dan Mozes loves to play the game.

"So, if NFL teams want a guy like that, they ought to think about taking him."

Although he won last year's Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center, Mozes predicts he won't be selected Saturday -- the NFL draft's first day.

"I've been told I'll go the second day, from the fourth round on," Mozes said. "Not every team is going to like me. I've always been told I'm too small. It was the same way when I came out of (Washington, Pa.) high school."

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. called the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Mozes a good college player who could be overpowered at the next level.

Trickett said Mozes proved over 50 career starts that he can stand his ground.

"I've looked in the kid's eyes. I know what's in his heart, and I know that he leaves it on the field every day," Trickett said.

An All-Big East guard in 2004, Mozes moved to center, as the Mountaineers piled up a Big East-leading 7,208 rushing yards the past two seasons.

"Dan is one of the smartest guys I've ever known," Trickett said. "He'll know more about what the defense is trying to do than their own defensive players. And he'll know exactly what technique he needs to use to be effective against whoever he's up against." analyst Gil Brandt says Mozes also provides intangibles.

Picking the Mountaineers
NFL draft outlook
Dan Mozes
Fourth to seventh round
Kevin McLee
Seventh round/free agent
Brandon Myles
Free agent
Source: analyst Gil Brandt

"I love him," Brandt said. "He's got fantastic leadership qualities. At the Playboy All-American team photo shoot, it was really interesting to watch him. He was like the Queen Bee, a leader of a bunch of really good players.

"He's a great individual, a lot better athlete than you think he might be. The only thing is, centers don't get drafted high."

In last year's draft, the Steelers anticipated the retirement of center Jeff Hartings by selecting California All-American -- and Rimington Trophy finalist --- Marvin Philip in the sixth round.

Mozes says he'll play golf Saturday, then watch the draft's late rounds unfold Sunday at his family's Washington home.

He talked briefly last Sunday night with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at a sports banquet.

"Coach Tomlin asked me if I was nervous," Mozes said. "He said guys usually get nervous in the week leading up to the draft, but I just want a chance to prove myself."

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