Can chase down running backs down from the backside
Natural feel for a quarterback
Skilled at shedding blocks
Built up power
Strength to shed blocks
Experience against double-teams
Ready to play immediately
Does not have great length
A little short
A little light
Frame could be maxed out
Coming off serious injury
Can get covered up some in the ground game
Summary: Before even lining up for one snap, there were big expectations for Nick Bosa at Ohio State. The reason for that was Bosa following in the footsteps of his older brother Joey, who was a superstar defensive end for the Buckeyes and ended up being the third-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The pressure and hype didn't get to Bosa as he quickly made an impact for Ohio State on a defensive line that was filled with future NFL players and early-round picks.
As a freshman in 2016, Bosa had a strong debut as a rotational player, recording five sacks with 29 tackles and seven tackles for a loss. He was even better as a sophomore. Bosa got more playing time, but Ohio State still employed a steady rotation with other defensive ends including Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes. Bosa had 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two passes batted and one forced fumble in 2017. Hubbard and Lewis were second-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, while Holmes went in the fourth round. Thus, it is very impressive that Bosa was the best defensive lineman on the Buckeyes. He looked like he was just scratching the surface of what he was capable of doing.
Bosa basically only had two games of playing time as a junior, but he dominated with four sacks, 14 tackles with six for a loss and one forced fumble. He suffered an abdominal injury that required surgery in Week 3. After some weeks went by, Bosa withdrew from Ohio State to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. It made sense for Bosa from a personal business decision as he already established himself as one of the top prospects, and it was unnecessary for him to take further injury risk. As one could expect, Ohio State really missed him when he was out.
Bosa had a good workout at the combine with a good 40 time of 4.79 seconds, and perhaps most importantly, he showed that he is healthy. Team sources have praised Bosa's strength and the way he has packed power onto his frame.
From watching Ohio State, there is no doubt that Bosa is a special player. He jumps off the screen with his excellent skill set and his ability to cause havoc in the backfield. For the NFL, Bosa looks like a No. 1 pass-rusher who could be a consistent double-digit sack producer with Pro Bowl potential early in his career.
Bosa is a beast in the pass rush. He has an excellent get-off, firing off the snap. He is fast off the edge with the ability to quickly get leverage by using his speed to get an angle to the quarterback. Bosa supplies a lot of quick pressure as offensive tackles struggle to keep him from getting upfield. Along with his quick feet, Bosa has the agility to cut back to the inside thanks to his athleticism to bend and get underneath blockers.
Aside from his speed and athleticism, Bosa has excellent hands with functional strength to fight off blocks, a burst to close, and puts quarterbacks down hard. Bosa has developed technique and obviously has been working at his craft for years with his older brother. That development extends to the weight room where Bosa has made himself extremely strong for his size. The Bosa brothers are very similar with the relentless presence with speed, power, and physicality as pass-rushers. Nick Bosa has a real nose for the quarterback with instincts and natural feel. He is a dynamic edge rusher for the NFL.
Bosa has the potential to be a good run defender. He has developed natural strength and can hold his ground on some plays. As a pro, it will be interesting to see how he handles length and strength from pro offensive tackles with runs coming straight at him downhill. Bosa being shorter and lacking length could be issues for him. At times, the length issue led to Bosa getting covered up somewhat in the ground game. He is good in pursuit and chases down backs outside of his gap. Improving his run defense is the biggest point of improvement for him entering the NFL.
As a pro, Bosa looks like a potential franchise defensive player as an edge rusher capable of producing double-digit sack seasons on an annual basis. He could be a player who goes to multiple Pro Bowls and is one of the most dangerous pass-rushers in the NFL. He is worthy of being a high first-round pick in any draft class. Team sources also feel Bosa is a safe pick.
Player Comparison: Joey Bosa. Nick Bosa is very similar to his older brother. Joey is taller and, longer while Nick could be faster and more explosive. Joey went in the top three of his draft class, and Nick should as well depending on how the quarterback and team needs stack up.
NFL Matches: San Francisco, New York Jets, Oakland, Tampa Bay
The 49ers need more pass rush because Solomon Thomas is trending towards bust status as a pass-rusher. However, they traded for Dee Ford, and sources have told me the 49ers love Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. Thus, I think they might pass on Bosa. But if they do draft Bosa, he could give them a dangerous edge rusher to go next to DeForest Buckner and across from Ford.
The Jets need an edge rusher, and Bosa would be the ideal pick for New York. Reportedly, the Jets want to trade down badly. However, they might not do that if Bosa gets to their pick.
Oakland would be a great fit for Bosa across from Arden Key. With Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall, Bosa could finish off a talented young starting line for the Raiders.
It is extremely doubtful that Bosa would fall past the third or fourth pick. However if that happened because of a teams trading up for quarterbacks, Bosa's fall would almost certainly end with Tampa Bay at the fifth pick. The Buccaneers need another edge rusher across from Jason Pierre-Paul.