Joey Bosa was a four-star recruit coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Rivals ranked him as the 4th best strongside defensive end and 47th overall nationally from the 2013 class. Bosa was recruited to play for many SEC and ACC schools including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, but chose to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He enters the 2016 NFL Draft as one of the top defensive lineman and most likely a top five pick.
College Career Overview
Bosa started for the Buckeyes as a true freshman in 10 of their 14 games recording 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles. He was named a freshman All-American. Continuing with his collegiate success, Bosa recorded another 13.5 sacks his sophomore year. He was suspended for the first game of his junior season for an undisclosed team issue, and recorded just 5 sacks his junior year.
Fun Fact: John Bosa, Joey’s father, played for the Miami Dolphins back in the 1980’s, while his brother, Nick, is a five-star recruit in the 2016 class and recently committed to play for the Buckeyes as well.
|DOB||1994||Bench (225 lbs)||24|
|Weight||269 lbs||Broad Jump||10′|
|Arms||33.375 in||20 Yard Shuttle||4.21 sec|
|Hands||10.25 in||3 Cone Drill||6.89 sec|
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)||4.86 sec (1.69 sec)||60 Yard Shuttle||DNP|
Stats and Awards
|Ohio State University (2013-2015)|
|2015 – 51 tackles (16.0 for loss), 5.0 sacks, 1 INT, 4 PD, 1 FF||Consensus All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, Smith-Brown DL of the Year|
|2014 – 55 tackles (21.0 for loss), 13.5 sacks, 1 PD, 4 FF||Unanimous ALL-American, First-Team All-Big Ten, Nagurski-Woodson DPOY, Smith-Brown DL of the Year|
|2013 – 44 tackles (13.5 for loss), 7.5 sacks, 1 PD||Freshman All-American, Freshman All-Big Ten|
- Mainly lined up as a 5-tech or 7-tech, but has experience lining up as 3-tech in various packages.
- Great nose for football. Always seems to be around the ball.
- Used a few times in pass coverage in underneath zones.
- Primarily rushed from a three point stance. Stays low in stance using good knee bend.
- NFL-ready body since high school.
- Excellent motor when play is in front of him, doesn’t offer much in term of backside pursuit (but could be a scheme issue).
- Not afraid to get dirty and dive into a pile of bodies or gang-tackle.
- Understands the one arm is longer than two concept able to hold off an offensive lineman with his length using just one arm.
- Rarely gets caught by a cut block using his hands to swipe away a diving blocker.
- Some experience with stunts, but was used primarily as an edge rusher or brought inside as a 3-tech defensive tackle.
- Dealt with double teams and chipping running backs from the backfield his junior year which inhibited pass rush production.
- Will occasionally lose contain when he misreads the play or it flows too hard one direction for his cutback lane.
- Has a mean streak, but was typically not flagged for any late hits. He was ejected from the Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl game for targeting, though.
- Very powerful first punch on the offensive lineman.
- Shows a variety of pass rush moves: bullrush, double-swipe.
- Above average speed, but not the quick-twitch athlete you want to see from a top-tier prospect.
- Due to lack of quick-twitch muscles, he doesn’t (and rarely attempted) covert speed-to-power.
- Incredible power and elite hand-fighting to win battles.
- Uses his natural length to stack and shed blockers in run support. Excellent run defender.
- Teams opted not to run at him directly in 2015 or if they did they would send double teams his way at the point of attack.
This article is broken into three pages: (1) General notes and scouting report, (2) Pass rush, and (3) run defense and pro comparison.
To write this piece I watched six games from his 2015 campaign: Hawaii, Penn State, Rutgers, Western Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame.
The first thing that jumps out at me when I was watching his tape was hit natural use of length and how great he used his hands. As a defensive lineman, he does an amazing job of hand-fighting to make sure no blocker can get a firm grip on him. This is by far his best traits: Length + Hands. With that being said, since he lined up primarily against the right tackle, he did not face any elite offensive lineman like Ronnie Staley of Notre Dame, for example.
One major reason for his lack of production compared to his sophomore campaign in which he collected 13.5 sacks was that he drew more double-teams in 2015. While he attempted to fight through them and was able to still make it a fair battle, Bosa was limited in these attempts. The good news is that his ability to penetrate by the fact that opposing coaches had to game plan for him meant that other defenders got 1v1 matches. Here are a couple of plays:
Another consistent thing I saw was that he was tackle-reading pre-snap meaning that he was watching the offensive tackle react to the snap versus watching the football. This is very conservative and hindered his pass rush as he was always behind the rest of the defensive line. Here’s an example of him arriving late to the party.
I mentioned in the scouting report that he was ejected for targeting in the Fiesta Bowl game versus Notre Dame. As you will see in the play below, this was clearly the correct call by the officials as he lowers his helmet and delivers a blow using the crown of his helmet to the quarterback’s stomach.