Jacob Blangsted-Barnor takes a look at Ohio State prospect Nick Bosa and assess where he'll go in next month's NFL Draft.
Nick looks to follow in his brother’s footsteps in going from Ohio State to a Top 3 Pick in the NFL Draft. There’s actually a good chance he improves on that and goes in the Top 2. Pre-combine he was widely believed to be the No. 1 pick held by Arizona.
It has since been reported that Arizona may take QB Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma with the top pick and this will be music to San Francisco’s ears as they would then have the chance to choose the best player in the draft. We take a look at what makes Bosa a candidate for the 1st overall pick and which team can maximise his very clear potential.
Bosa has the underrated ability to keep his eyes on the play and redirect where needed, a lot of college players will shoot the gap they are told and just attack as aggressively as possible. What separates the good athletes who are able to do this and the elite players are that the elite players can shoot the gap but keep their eyes in on the line to redirect if necessary. The play below shows a great example of this where Bosa (who starts out at the 5 Tech), shoots inside the TE to attack the C gap.
However, by being able to read the line, he notices the left tackle execute a pin pull block where they are using the TE to hook Bosa while the left tackle pulls round to gain a block on a more favourable match up but also to move the gaps so Bosa is now too far inside to affect the play. Bosa is able to notice this, stop and redirect with a killer spin move, allowing him to sit back into the gap he wants to be in and make the tackle.
Bosa also possesses the potential to become an elite pass rusher, on 3rd down he can pin his ears back and get after the QB. A skill that proves very valuable in the NFL. On this 3rd and 10 play, his hands and his set up are the reason he gets this sack. Notice how he sets the tackle up with a slight inside step which causes the tackle to hesitate as the tackle’s feet are too close together meaning he struggles to change direction as quickly as Bosa does. Bosa then commits outside and using his hands to make sure the tackle cannot recover.
It’s no surprise that all the teams at the top of the draft are interested in Bosa, a top pass rusher can prove very valuable to a franchise, and the 2 best fits for teams with the biggest need at the top of the draft are the 49ers and the Jets.
Before free agency, 49ers were lacking in any pass-rushing talent at all and in his meeting with the team, Bosa mentioned how the 49ers told him he would get to play as a pure hand in the ground 4-3 edge rusher, this would be the best way to maximise his potential, as opposed to having to convert to a 3-4 outside linebacker. Since free agency began, the 49ers have traded for Dee Ford, so they have somewhat filled a need, however depth is always needed at an important position and the 3rd down unit on that team would be a scary thought for any offensive line.
The Jets will have new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who also plays a 4-3 and will be looking for edge rushers, he will likely be quick to choose whichever of Josh Allen and Nick Bosa is still on the board and if they both are left, will have an interesting decision on his hands, but Bosa will likely fit the scheme they will be introducing with Williams.