2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Nik Bonitto





  • Nik Bonitto, 6-3/240

  • Outside Linebacker

  • Oklahoma


  • Nik Bonitto Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

    Strengths:
  • Fast
  • Athletic
  • Explosive
  • Dangerous edge pass rusher
  • Speed to turn the corner
  • Uses hands well
  • Closes quickly
  • Excellent pursuit skills
  • Run-and-chase defender
  • Natural in space
  • Makes big plays in the backfield
  • Has the athletic ability to potentially cover




  • Weaknesses:
  • Undersized
  • Lacks height, length, weight for a NFL edge defender
  • Weak in run defense
  • Teams will run at him
  • Tweener
  • Teams have concerns with his background
  • Teams have concerns with his football I.Q.
  • Hasn’t shown he can play in the stack
  • Could be limited to being a designated pass rusher only


  • Summary: Bonitto was one of the most consistent pass rushers in the Big XII over the past couple of years. After recording 3.5 sacks and 43 tackles during his redshirt freshman season, Bonitto broke out in the shortened 2020 season with 8.5 sacks, 32 tackles and two passes batted. He stayed consistent in 2021 with seven sacks, 39 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass defended. Bonitto opted out of the Alamo Bowl at the end of the regular season and announced he was skipping his senior year to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

    There is no doubt Bonitto is a dangerous pass rusher off the edge. He is fast with a quick first-step to get upfield and the ability to accelerate around the corner. Bonitto also is athletic, showing the skills to sink his hips and redirect. Given his speed and fluidity, offensive tackles are in trouble when there is space for Bonitto to work with because he id adept at dodging blockers. As a pro, Bonitto could be a dangerous edge rusher and quarterback hunter.



    While Bonitto is an effective rusher, he will currently be a liability as a run defender in the NFL. He is undersized for the pro game, lacking the height and weight to play on the edge. He also is not very physical as a defender and needs to get stronger for taking on pro offensive linemen.

    Bonitto would probably fit best in the NFL as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense given his body type. He is undersized for any NFL scheme, however, and could be limited to being a designated pass rusher. In obvious passing situations, Bonitto could be a nice contributing edge rusher to create pressure on the quarterback.

    In the 2022 NFL Draft, Bonitto could be a second-day pick. If he slips to Day 3, he should go in the early rounds.



    Player Comparison: Marquis Haynes. Haynes has flashed at time as a situational pass rusher during his pro career. Size limitations and being a tweener, however, have limited him to being a rotational backup. Bonitto could follow a similar path in the NFL.






    RELATED LINKS:


    2022 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s


    2022 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings


    2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports








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