I enjoyed yesterday's conversation style write up about Laremy Tunsil so much that I think we can just ride that wave for the rest of the week. Today we conquer arguably the most well-known name in the draft, Ohio State's Joey Bosa. I brought on my guy Justis Mosqueda. To give you a better idea of Justis' background don't read any further until you read this summary on force players. That's his brand. That's his baby.
Force Players is an athletic threshold based off of combine performances of pass-rushers that I've been working on since 2011. It isn't the end all be all for edge defenders, but it's close. It works as a healthy risk analysis, based on a sample of the 2005 through 2015 draft classes.
It's heavily based around the 3-cone drill and both the vertical and broad jumps. The short shuttle and the 10-yard split from the 40-yard dash are weighted more than the 40-yard dash itself. Looking at these numbers, it's pretty obvious that the least important drill is the one which gets the most publicity.
Click the link to view the results and tiers of players that based through this density adjusted formula. It's very interesting. I don't think I need to give Bosa an introduction, so let's hop into it.
KP: The hype the past couple years and in season from Bosa has been crazy. Live watching you see some incredible flashes of him blowing plays up. That hype has cooled off quite a bit. Is that surprising to you?
JM: Not totally. I think his combine had a big part of that. For as little as the 40-yard dash actually matters, it's the one drill that the sports bar crowd cares about, and that's where Bosa bombed. I believe Stephen White and I were the first people on his gripe train, quiestioning his perception to his junior season broadcasts.
KP: Look at you, #firsting on the initial question. So let's talk about this. If there's one position where the combine matters the most it's for an edge rusher. I mentioned your Force Players brand that shows just how important the combine is and how it correlates. Going into the combine, what drills did you expect Bosa to wreck and which did you have concerns?
JM: I take my shots as I see them, amor. Honestly, I thought Bosa would have done well in the jumps, but I worried about his 3-cone, which is actually where he did best.
KP: That 3-cone definitely raised some eyebrows(in a good way, Bosa tested out in the 94th percentile among DEs) and his short shuttle wasn't too shabby, either. I never thought he was a poor athlete, but he didn't strike me as the "bend the edge" type. I find it amusing that live watching him I thought he was a speed/quickness guy. Watching him after the season he couldn't be further from that. Which is good because "power guys with explosive jumps" are the type of players I usually gravitate towards. It's why I loved Diggy from UCLA so much last year. Bosa is a power player that has supberb hand usage. So I was curious why he only jumped 32"(which tests out in the 33rd percentile.)
JM: Bosa's short shuttle was really good when you take into account his 10-yard split. The elite jump guys usually separate themselves from the pack at the next level. Bosa had really good jumps, but I don't think they were on the level of Owa. Bosa's big plus is length and power/quickness. He's never going to be a speed-bend guy at the next level. The guys that FP usually misses on are the longer guys with tech ability, but even then, the top 2 guys in the 1st 3 rounds since 2005 are Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard. Jones was just traded for a 2nd round pick and the Browns let Sheard walk in free agency last year. Bosa will be a quality player in the NFL, maybe even maxing out around Jones/Carlos Dunlap production, but those aren't like "elite" pass-rushers.
KP: Maxing out at a guy fress of 12 sacks will no doubt make fans giddy seeing you say that. What game this past year did you see from Bosa and were like "yup, this dude can ball?"
JM: Sacks =/=pass-rushing influence, even if bringing up "pressures" is getting corny. As far as Bosa dominating, he thrashed Penn State.
KP: I don't disagree on pass rushing influence but as a Charger fan I understand the importance of bringing down the QB. I had the same game come to mind. 9 "win", 5.5 stops, 3.5 TFLs, a sack. He was everything this game. He also won both inside and out. Which brings up a good question, if you're taking a player like this in the top 7, what position is he maximized at?
JM: I think he's a base end. I don't really think you want a 4.8, 6'4" and 26X pounder dropping into coverage. Could he hang at 3-T, but do you want to put a 26X-pounder there?
KP: I think Bosa will be fine when he kicks inside because he does such a good job of keeping his frame clean with his hands. I've seen terrible guard play in the league too and these guys won't be able to block him.
JM: You think he's a 3-down UT(under tackle, think 3 technique or weak-side defensive tackle)?
KP: No. Funny you mentioned it earlier but my comp is Carlos Dunlap. Similarities in how they both play with power and even some similiar test scores. Lofty praise for a guy coming off of a 13.5 sack season but context is key here. Bosa can kick inside. My biggest concern for him is when Bosa is on the edge and he loses his gap responsibilities. I know his 10-yard was fine but I don't think his 1st step is good. Finally, his lateral range is iffy, especially considering he's being lauded as a top player in the draft. These are more reasons why I feel like he'll be maximized inside on passing downs. Bosa can kick inside ala Justin Tuck, but are these names you take in the top 5 of the draft?
JM: He's more like Robert Ayers than anyone wants to readily admit.
KP: Uh oh.....
JM: Ayers is a good football player, who can flex inside and outside, lining up from defensive tackle to a wide-9 crash defensive end. You have to scheme sacks for that player, though, and even then he's going to max out as an 8-10 sack player.
KP: With Bosa it's you see what you get. With another defensive end from the state you live in that I believe you and many others are missing (de)forest for the trees you get what you see but there's a ceiling that's untapped. That's why he's worth it in the top 5. I just don't see that with Bosa.
JM: Bosa is a multi-faceted tool who can fit on any 4-3 defense as a hybrid end and tackle. He wins more with gritty power and tremndous length than he does with gifted speed and hips. Unfortunately, that's typically a player who goes in the middle of the 1st round, not the top 5 selections. I wrote about him how he'll be a solid player, but not a pro bowl talent
KP: While I do think he'll be fine in a 3-4 team because I've seen San Diego(with Freeney and Attaochu and even Ingram at times) have their edge guys play with their hand in the dirt. I've also seen enough from Bosa that he can play a 5-tech and I know that's not a popular opinion but he's strong enough and advanced with his hands to do so. Weight isn't an issue there. Watch him play the position, his traits translate. That said, I don't disagree with you and he graded out for me in a typical draft as a middle of the pack 1st rounder, which is far from a sleight, just not a guy offensive coordinators have to game-plan around.
JM: In this draft class with how thin at the top it is, Maybe Bosa's college production and life pedigree will vault him into the conversation. However, anyone expecting a repeated double-digit sack artist is mistaken. Power ruhsers have their place in the NFL, but the level of difficulty facing Big 10 right tackles is completely different than when professional offenses declare you as their biggest threat in pass protection.
KP: He seems like the "safe" pick. At 3 I want safe and spectacular. I don't think that's Bosa and that's fine.