2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Joey Bosa

  • Joey Bosa, 6-5/269

  • Defensive End

  • Ohio State

  • Joey Bosa Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Physical run defender
  • Can hold his ground against downhill runs
  • Skilled at shedding blocks
  • Can chase down running backs down from the backside
  • Instincts
  • Dangerous edge pass-rusher
  • Good get-off
  • Has some pass-rushing moves
  • Can bull rush
  • Quick off the edge
  • Excellent pursuit defender
  • Consistent source of pass pressure
  • Coverts speed to power
  • Has some pass-coverage potential
  • Experience against double-teams
  • Assignment sound
  • Disruptive
  • Can cause havoc behind the line of scrimmage
  • Uses hands well
  • Can use his hands and feet at the same time
  • Plays with good leverage
  • Pad level
  • Quickness
  • Can rush from the inside
  • Ready to play immediately

  • Weaknesses:
  • Does not have blinding speed off the edge for the NFL
  • Could use more refinement of pass-rushing moves
  • Seemed to be looking to protect himself at times as a junior
  • Should drop weight if drafted for a 3-4 outside linebacker position
  • Off-the-field issues
  • Suspension for refusing to take a drug test
  • Teams suspect hard party-drug usage

  • Summary: From his freshman year on, Bosa was a star of college football and an impact-making player for Ohio State. In his debut season, he racked up 44 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble. It was clear that Bosa was just scratching the surface of his potential.

    As a sophomore, Bosa was dominant and led the Buckeyes’ defense on their championship run. In 2014, he recorded 55 tackles with 13.5 sacks, 21 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and pass defended. The sophomore simply lived in opponents’ backfields. He came up with huge plays late in the season to help Ohio State make its run for the National Championship.

    Bosa’s production for the 2015 regular season dipped to 51 tackles with 16 for a loss and five sacks. The junior did see double-teams, but he also had a number of single-block opportunities that went nowhere. It didn’t seem like Bosa was playing with the same sense of intensity, and he may have eased up to protect himself from injury. Bosa wouldn’t be the first highly touted junior to do so, and certainly won’t be the last, but it can hurt enthusiasm from scouts. Bosa’s run defense was more solid and productive than his pass rush in 2015.

    For the NFL, Bosa has the speed and strength to be a tough assignment for offensive tackles. As a pass-rusher, he can beat tackles with quickness around the corner yet also is strong enough to fight them off with his hands. Bosa can shed blocks and win with a bull rush as well. He could use more refinement with his pass-rushing moves, but he definitely has the potential to be a double-digit sack producer as a pro. Bosa has excellent hands to fight off blocks.

    Bosa also is a very good run defender. He is strong at the point of attack and is able to maintain his gap. Bosa is skilled at holding his ground, shedding the block and flowing to the ball to make the tackle. He pursues well and can come up with some big plays in run defense.

    Bosa’s best fit would come as a base end in a 4-3 defense. He could move back and forth between right and left end. Bosa also could rush from the inside in passing situations. He could fit in a 3-4 as an outside linebacker, but would need more development to stand up and play in space. He has shown some skill at dropping into coverage, but didn’t do it much in college.

    Off the field, teams are concerned about Bosa using hard drugs. He was suspended for the 2015 season opener against Virginia Tech because he refused to take a drug test. Teams believe that was because Bosa new he would fail the test. He admitted to liking to go to raves, but told teams that was because he liked the “music.” Bosa also was a roommate of Ezekiel Elliott before moving out because Elliott’s partying was too much for Bosa, or so Bosa stated in his combine interviews. However, teams don’t believe these issues will result in Bosa sliding in the draft.

    For the 2016 NFL Draft, Bosa is a top-10 pick barring an injury or getting in trouble before the draft. Sources have said that he’s a good player, but feel the national media has overrated him. Some teams say that in a good draft, like the 2014 class, he would have gone in the No. 5-7 range. In a weak class, he could go in the top four. Teams believe that if Bosa could have entered the 2015 NFL Draft, he would have gone third overall to the Jaguars instead of Dante Fowler Jr.

    Player Comparison: Ryan Kerrigan. Some draft media have compared Bosa to J.J. Watt, but team sources think that is absurd. They feel that Bosa is not close to the same player as Watt is a lot heavier and they are different kinds of players. Watt is the best player in the NFL, so comparing Bosa to him puts unrealistic expectations on Bosa that really aren’t fair.

    In speaking with multiple sources, they say that Bosa is a nearly identical prospect to Kerrigan coming out of Purdue. Both were effective pass-rushers in college and also good run defenders. Athletically, they have good, well-rounded skill sets. In the NFL, I think Bosa will be a player similar to Kerrigan.

    NFL Matches: Tennessee, Dallas, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and New York Giants

    Sources with the Titans have said that as Bosa was in the running for the No. 1 pick with Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey, but it sounds like Bosa is behind those two prospects.

    The Jaguars could use an edge rusher to go with Dante Fowler as their pass defense has been a real weakness. Dallas could/should move on from Greg Hardy, and Bosa would bring the Cowboys size to go with Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence. Baltimore needs a young pass-rusher as Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are aging. Bosa looks safe to go in the No. 4-6 range.

    If Bosa slides past Baltimore, the Bucs could end his slide with the ninth pick. He would be just what Tampa Bay needs on the edge. The Buccaneers haven’t had a steady sack-producing defensive end since Simeon Rice.

    Even though the Giants signed Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, they could use a third edge rusher. It is hard to see New York passing on Bosa if he gets to pick No. 10.


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