With the No. 2-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers picked defensive end Nick Bosa out of Ohio State. Bosa sat out most of his final season in Columbus after an abdominal tear and subsequent surgery kept him sidelined. Considered for many years (basically since coming to Ohio State) as the top player in his class, Bosa has continuously risen above the field of defensive linemen in what’s turned out to be an extremely dense class at those positions.
So why should you be excited the 49ers picked Bosa? We’ve got you covered:
1. He is literally the best player in the draft
See? You basically got a steal with the second-overall selection. In fact, the younger Bosa has seemingly been a lock as the top talent in this year’s draft since he arrived at Ohio State as a true freshman.
A look at Nick Bosa's career grades at Ohio State pic.twitter.com/nYHuXCRpMF— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 4, 2019
During that true freshman campaign, Bosa lived up to the hype of being a five-star prospect and brother of the No. 3-overall pick of the 2016 draft. In 12 games, Nick had five sacks and seven tackles for loss -- all while playing in a rotation that meant he took just 526 defensive snaps all year. He continued to grow as a sophomore, posting 16 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Wrapping up his final season in Columbus, Bosa finished the 2018 season with six tackles for loss and four sacks in just three games.
2. Bosa brings a little something extra to the edge
The 49ers entered the offseason with serious needs on the defensive line. The addition of defensive end Dee Ford certainly catapulted them in the right direction, but adding Bosa to the unit takes San Francisco to “elite” status pretty quickly.
Bosa has said that his favorite move in the pass rush is the side scissor, which he’s been able to use effectively at different points on the line. He brings a level of adaptability which enables him to be placed almost anywhere while still wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.
3. He’s got the speed
Bosa had the top spot in the 20-yard shuttle in this spring’s combine with a time of 4.14 seconds. In addition to his point-to-point speed, the defensive end is quick off the snap, getting a “jarring initial punch” that gives him an advantage over the offensive line.
4. Those hands though
One thing everyone seems to agree on is Bosa’s ability to use his hands during the pass rush, enabling him to get around pesky offensive linemen with seeming ease. Bosa’s draft profile cites “forward lean, smart hands and impressive upper body power” as his differentiator, allowing him to make plays against both the run and pass.
5. Nick and Joey are different people...but you get the idea
Physically, Nick and Joey were within one inch and three pounds of one another at their respective combines. Nick was a little faster in the shuttle and had five more bench press reps than Joey, but their profiles look eerily similar.
Joey was taken third-overall by the then San Diego Chargers in 2016. Since then, he has become a dominant force with the Chargers — earning a career 90.7 pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus — and part of one of the top scoring defenses in the league. It’s not completely out of line to expect that his brother could be making similar waves for another team in the state.
Any concerns about Bosa?
Despite all his strength and speed, Bosa did spend the majority of last season sidelined with an injury. While he will have had almost a year to recover before his first NFL snaps, it is still an injury risk.