Joey Bosa grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He earned a four-star rating by Rivals.com and was named the fourth-best defensive end prospect in the country. Between a myriad of college offers, Bosa chose to continue his football career at Ohio State, going from one national power to another.
Bosa got on the field for the Buckeyes as a true freshman where he racked up 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks en route to earning Freshman All-American honors. He took his game to another level as a sophomore as he accumulated 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks with four forced fumbles. Bosa was named a Unanimous All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year while finishing just short of winning the Bronco Nagurski Award, given to the nation’s top defensive player.
He ran it back with All-American honors in 2015 despite a drop in production. He ended the 2015 season with 16 tackles for loss and just five sacks with an interception as a junior. In the first quarter of the team’s bowl game against Notre Dame, Bosa was ejected for a hit on quarterback DeShone Kizer which prompted an early end to his college career. He would elect to enter the 2016 draft class soon after.
The Chargers selected Bosa with the third-overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. After a tough 4-12 season, the Chargers looked to Bosa to help reinforced a defense to complement Philip Rivers and the offense.
Bosa didn’t see the field as early as fans would have wanted due to a hamstring injury. He made his debut against the Raiders where he finished with a pair of sacks. He’d finish his first pro season with 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
The 2017 season saw Bosa record a career-high 12.5 sacks to go with 11 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He would be named to his first of four Pro Bowls after starting all 16 games.
Injuries hit Bosa bard in 2018, keeping him to just six starts in seven total games played. He still notched 5.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss while the Chargers still managed to wins 12 games, along with punching their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Bosa managed to stay healthy for all 16 games in 2019 to record a new career-high 18 tackles for loss. His 11.5 sacks were the second most in his career and good enough to send him back to the Pro Bowl for the second time.
Over the next three seasons, the injury bug continued to rear its ugly head. In 2020, Bosa missed four games but his 15 tackles for loss 7.5 sacks were good enough to get him to his third Pro Bowl. He started at least 16 games for just the third time in his career in 2021 under Brandon Staley but saw his production take a hit. His five tackles for loss were a career low and the 10.5 sacks were the lowest in a season where he played at least 16 contests.
The 2022 season came with a ton of hype for Bosa as it was set to be his first playing opposite newly-acquired edge rusher Khalil Mack. Tragedy struck in the team’s week three matchup with the Jaguars when Bosa went down with a torn groin muscle. Despite the prognosis initially being fairly positive, he wound up missing 12 games in all. He returned late in the season, playing in five total games with four starts (2.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss) by the end of the year.
College: Ohio State
Years with team: 7
“Joey Bosa signed a 5 year, $135,000,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $35,000,000 signing bonus, $102,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $27,000,000. In 2023, Bosa will earn a base salary of $1,165,000 and a restructure bonus of $22,835,000, while carrying a cap hit of $15,776,666 and a dead cap value of $38,000,001.” - Spotrac.com
Despite the lack of truly elite sack totals throughout his career, Bosa is still revered as one of the best and most-technically sound players at his position. He has surprising finesse moves off the edge while being able to back it up with power. Bosa has been a tackle-for-loss machine for most of his career and the expectation is that he’ll get back to that form after putting weight back on this offseason after playing around 255 in 2022.
Bosa is a former third-overall pick and I think you’ll find fans torn on whether or not he’s truly lived up to his sky-high expectations coming out of Ohio State. Injuries have surely thrown his career off kilter a bit but it’s tough not to point out his lack of elite sack production over the years. His current career high is 12.5, a number his younger brother Nick has eclipsed each of the past two seasons.
As it stands entering the 2023 season, Bosa will have massive expectations to have a career year should he manage to stay healthy this season.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2023?
Bosa will start as one of the team’s two edge rushers on defense. He’ll pair with veteran Khalil Mack to make up one of the NFL’s most-intimidating pass rush duos as long as both of them can stay healthy.