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With the NFL Draft just a few days away, we have decided to put out draft profiles for your enjoyment, in case you aren’t familiar with all of these names that will be called on Thursday. We will be covering some of the big names as well as some of the lesser known names that could be called in the first round of the NFL draft. We continue the series with the monster of a man, Joey Bosa. Defensive end out of Ohio State.


The other big name Ohio State prospect that you may have heard of, Ezekiel Elliott, has been covered in depth here. But today I want to look at the man who goes to raves just for the music: ladies and gentlemen, Joey Bosa.

Joey Bosa was born in Fort Lauderdale, F.L., and is the son of former NFLer John Bosa. John played college football at Boston College, starting on the defensive line. He was drafted in 1987 by the Miami Dolphins in the first round. He spent three seasons in south Florida before parting ways, never to play in the NFL again.

His son, Joey, hopes to buck that. Joey, a former Ohio State Buckeye, had most of his success lining up as defensive end. Bosa started hot as a freshmen and earned starts in 10 of the team’s 14 games, with 44 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

In 2014, Bosa outperformed his previous numbers and earned a Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year award. He tallied 55 tackles with 13.5 sacks, 21 tackles for a loss, and four forced fumbles. He penetrated opponents’ offensive lines with ease and had a permanent residence in the backfield.

Fast forward to 2015, where Bosa was suspended for the Buckeyes’ season opener (for undisclosed reasons) and his production fell significantly: 51 tackles with 16 for a loss and five sacks. For those keeping track, that’s half as many behind the line tackles as in 2014. Some questioned his motivation, others thought that he was hedging against injury before declaring for the NFL Draft. No matter the reason, Bosa still looked dominant on the field and staked his claim for a top-10 selection in the NFL Draft.

However, things started to take a turn for the worse when reports surfaced that teams are worried about Bosa indulging in several hard drugs. The reports came from WalterFootball and have been reinforced by some things that Bosa has said: including that, as I mentioned earlier, he attends raves because he likes the music, but does not indulge in drugs. Later, when interviewing with teams, Bosa threw his former roommate, Ezekiel Elliott under the bus, saying that the former Buckeye running back took to many drugs and thus the two had a falling out. Perhaps the most incriminating came when Bosa refused to take a drug test at Ohio State.

How much effect something like this will have on Bosa’s draft stock is unknown. On the one hand, we have seen how players like Justin Blackmon, Johnny Manziel, Josh Gordon, Tyrann Matthieu and several others before had off-field concerns but were drafted high regardless. In contrast, many players have hurt their draft stock as a result, such as La’el Collins, and several Juco transfers that had to switch schools for off-field problems. Sports Illustrated recently ran an interesting article on how Bosa’s, and others’, off-field concerns, will affect their draft stock.

He is currently slated to go in the top-5, but we know how these preliminary rankings are always subject to change on Draft Day.

Moving past the off-field concerns, we have a player who is a monster on the field. He sheds blocks faster than anyone else in the draft class and is physical enough that dealing with NFL sized road graders will not pose a problem, even in year one.

In the gif above, you can see Bosa manhandling his assignment and picking up the sack without even putting his hands on the quarterback.

He is also perceived to be someone who can be versatile both as a 4-3 defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker. Even though he has the speed to be a stand-up edge rusher in the 3-4, he also has the size and physicality to put his hand on the ground and wreak havoc in a down stance.

His weaknesses are small, but mainly, he is just not fast enough to be a game-breaker at outside linebacker like a guy like Von Miller. He will also, like most 4-3 defensive ends who make the transition, have to learn how to cover on passing downs if need be. Aside from that, the rest of his tangible abilities are visible on the field.

In sum, I think Bosa is a 5-star talent with a 1-star attitude. Where he lands is anyone’s guess, but I have him slotting somewhere in the top-10, solely because he is the best of his kind entering the Draft this year. Dallas’ outspoken general manager/owner Jerry Jones has come out and personally has said that the Cowboys would not disqualify Bosa from being picked fourth overall because of any attitude or off-field issues.

Nonetheless, I have him going sixth overall to Ozzie Newsome’s Baltimore Ravens, who have made a name for their defense this century by applying a heavy pass rush.

 

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