Nick Bosa done at Ohio State: NFL Draft stock, teams that make sense and what's next
Ohio State's superstar pass-rusher is making the right decision to focus on the NFL Draft
In 2016, as a freshman, Bosa had five sacks and seven tackles for loss. As Ohio State's alpha edge-rusher in 2017, he tallied 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
Through three games before his abdominal injury, Bosa had four sacks, six tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. According to Pro Football Focus, he won 28 percent of his pass-rush snaps last year, the highest rate in the nation among returning players.
Overview and comparison
Like his older brother, Bosa is first and foremost a master with his hands. He has a calculated plan on every snap, and rarely if ever is complacent simply grappling with offensive linemen. He'll enter the league with a more diverse arsenal of pass-rushing moves than a decent portion of NFL veterans.
Beyond that, Bosa has been blessed with fluid hips and ankle flexion that allow him to flatten to the quarterback once he beats blockers to the pass-rushing apex. I firmly believe that ability cannot be coached. You either can bend the edge or you can't.
(Quick note... Nick's slightly less "bendy" than Joey.)
However, Nick's a bit more powerful than Joey was when he entered the NFL in 2016. He converts impressive burst to power and can even drive guards back on twists.
It might seem lazy, but it's too obvious ... my comparison for Bosa is his brother. I've gotten numerous Joey flashbacks while watching Nick during his Ohio State career. Joey was my No. 3 overall prospect in the 2016 class behind Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack.
Teams that make sense for Bosa
San Francisco has spent a first-round pick on a defensive linemen in three of the past four drafts, but they could use a dominant edge presence. The Giants might be on the cusp of a total tear down, which would likely lead to the release of once prized free-agent acquisition Olivier Vernon. That'd leave a gaping hole at defensive end.
The Colts need more pass-rush on the outside, and after the Khalil Mack fiasco, the Raiders will be in the market for an edge-rusher. Really, the Cardinals are the only 1-5 team you can make a reasonable argument against drafting a defensive end in the top 5 of the 2019 Draft.
Of the two other clubs SportsLine currently projects to win fewer than six games -- the Bills and Browns -- Buffalo is more likely to be interested in Bosa despite its significant needs on the offensive side of the ball. Jerry Hughes has been one of the most effective outside-rushers in the league in 2018 but will enter 2019 as a 31 year old in the final year of his contract.
What are his next steps?
First off, I have to say I think Bosa is absolutely making the correct decision. He's already aced the collegiate level, and his game is incredibly refined for a defensive end who doesn't turn 21 until next week.
Core injuries can be tricky, and it's safe to assume this specific one is more than "minor." The NFL Scouting Combine is in a little under four-and-a-half months from today, and he had surgery on September 20, meaning he'll have just over five months to fully recover in time for the athleticism exhibition in Indianapolis.
By ending his collegiate career now, Bosa should have plenty of time to be fully recovered for the pre-draft process. And even if he wants to be overly cautious, he could skip the combine in late February and schedule a pro day in early or even mid-April.
Working out before the draft isn't an absolute necessity for prospects -- especially the top ones -- but teams are going to want to see how he's moving after the injury and subsequent surgery. Doing on-field work at a pro day in April would be seven months removed from surgery.
Bosa should be fine and ultimately hear his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell within the first few picks of the 2019 Draft.
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