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Draft Memories: April 28, 2016, Chargers select Joey Bosa

San Diego had the third overall pick and a small army of great prospects in front of them — their selection shocked just about everyone

NFL Draft Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

I would not say that Joey Bosa was necessarily an “easy” pick for Tom Telesco, as many people voiced or said that they had heard concerns about the Ohio State pass rusher in the weeks leading up to the draft, but perhaps few prospects ever spent that much time as the consensus number one pick only to fall to three before.

Four years later, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are respectable quarterbacks and I don’t think either team regrets their decision to move up for those players, but Bosa remains a unique talent. In a draft class with those two QBs, Jalen Ramsey, Michael Thomas, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Ronnie Stanley, Laremy Tunsil, Jack Conklin, Tyreek Evans, Chris Jones, DeForest Buckner, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, and Yannick Ngakoue, Bosa would still be difficult to project outside of the top three in a re-draft.

As you already know, Bosa has posted 40 sacks, 82 QB hits, and 53 tackles for a loss in 51 career games. Despite playing in 12 fewer games than Ngakoue and Buckner, and 10 fewer games than Jones, he leads the 2016 draft class in career sacks.

It got me thinking more about what the reaction was when Bosa was selected with the third overall pick. Here was the announcement of the pick at Bolts:

NFL Draft results: Ohio State Edge Rusher Joey Bosa to the Chargers with the 3rd pick

This just happened to be the first comment:


NOOOOOOOOOOOO…Sigh…Telesco…you suck.

To all your credit, the comment was not “blue’d.” The majority seemed happy with Bosa, only noting that Jalen Ramsey — perhaps the player most being touted as the best pick at the site — would have also been nice and four years later we can agree that both are special. If anything, Ramsey forced himself out of a situation with the Jacksonville Jaguars, so how long may he have lasted with the San Diego and LA Chargers, were things to progress as they did in 2019?

There was also a lot of talk that day about what it would mean for the Chargers defense, if it was more of a 3-4 or 4-3 at that point, and if it could imply that Melvin Ingram is on the move. Of course, the two have played the last four years together and the defense adjusted year-to-year, week-to-week, play-to-play, as defenses tend to do.

This was also the day of the Laremy Tunsil gas mask video, when his character was questioned and he fell to pick 13 after being discussed as a top-five prospect, potentially to San Diego. Tunsil went after Stanley and many thought that the talent wasn’t quite there with Stanley, but he may have been the league’s best offensive lineman last season. Conklin also snuck ahead of Tunsil and while he’s also been good, he’s less impressive. Tunsil did convince Bill O’Brien that he was one of the most valuable players in the NFL, take that for what it’s worth.

The other player drawing a lot of attention was Buckner, who went seventh overall to the San Francisco 49ers. He doesn’t have the pass rushing production of Bosa, but Buckner could have been the Niners best defensive lineman last season — even more than Nick Bosa — and he commanded the 13th overall pick in trade from the Indianapolis Colts last month.

Over at Reddit, there was a poll conducted at /r/Chargers as to who the team would select. Ramsey drew 71 votes. Buckner drew 31 votes. Tunsil got 10 votes. Stanley got five votes. Myles Jack (!) got one vote. And Bosa got ... one vote.

Jack may have been a top-five pick at one point but like Tunsil, concerns popped up right before the festivities kicked off. In his case, the long-term health of his knee. Jack played sparingly as a rookie, then was one of the top players on the defense from 2017-2018 as the starting middle linebacker who got into 99% of the snaps over those two seasons. The Jaguars — who selected Ramsey and Jack that year, a dream scenario for many Chargers fans — gave Jack a four-year, $57 million extension last August. After starting 11 games, Jack went on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Another reddit post stressed that Bosa was the consensus number one pick for a long time before he “slid” past the quarterbacks, and in the minds of many, a few other players. Four years later we can all agree that while Ramsey, Stanley, Tunsil, and several others have gone on to have excellent careers, them rising up didn’t mean that Bosa was sliding down. Not in his own abilities and talent, at least, which were and continue to be significantly unique and valuable in the NFL.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. I only jumped on Ramsey and Buckner because I was a follower. Time to pave my own way and become who I want to be.

A penguin.

But seriously, hoping bosa is the next Merriman

And reply to that...

Yes...but without the entire steroid thing.

Over at the main /r/Chargers reddit post about Bosa coming to San Diego, the top comment expressed ... confidence in Tom Telesco.

We can argue this pick until the season starts but we can agree on one thing: Tom Telesco is smarter than us when it comes to doing this so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

NOBODY called this. Maybe months ago, when Bosa was in the limelight more. Telesco is a freaking sneaky bastard, and I LOVE it.

People are shitting on the pick without him even starting a game, let the man play first


Literally the last guy I expected.

There was a lot of worry that the pick would be Ronnie Stanley who, as noted, could be the key player on the Baltimore Ravens’ offense now. Yes, that’s what I said, the key player on the Ravens offense. As written up at SB Nation, 0 of 115 mock drafts had the Chargers taking Bosa. Stanley was often the pick.

“It was amusing to see,” Chargers president John Spanos told “We would sit back, read these mock drafts and see who people thought we would take. We would look around at each other and say, ‘Man, I can’t believe no one knows.’”

“Sometimes when you hear rumors, you can piece together where it came from,” Spanos told “In the specific case of the Ronnie Stanley rumor, I have no clue where that came from. So I was really amused, and I didn’t feel a need to set the record straight. I just sat back and enjoyed the false speculation.”

I wonder how Matt Miller’s relationships with those “four people” is now.

Plenty of time has passed and the 2016 NFL Draft was a great one, perhaps one of the best ever. The San Diego Chargers surprised many people with the Bosa selection, but it wasn’t the negative surprise that you may worry about from time to time. The negative surprise you may be fearful of when “VIRTUAL DRAFT!” kicks off in a few weeks. Four years later, Bosa was an excellent pick. Stanley, Ramsey, or Buckner may have also been excellent picks.


What was the best 1st round/2nd round combo in the 2016 draft?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (175 votes)
  • 6%
    (16 votes)
  • 9%
    Zeke Elliott/Jaylon Smith
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Tunsil/Xavien Howard
    (8 votes)
239 votes total Vote Now