Not 'In Love' With Joey Bosa?
The Cowboys sit at No. 4 in the upcoming NFL Draft and they do so with options ... including one option where they "play it safe,'' take a top-notch talent and fill a need, all in one selection of Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa. According to a report from Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Dallas isn't "in love'' with Bosa ...
"I don't believe the Dallas Cowboys will draft Joey Bosa," Zierlein said according to NFL.com. "I've heard that they're not in love with Joey Bosa. I don't think Joey Bosa is going to be a Cowboy."
Before we analyze that, let's analyze Bosa:
High School Career
Joey Bosa attended national high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he would help lead the Raiders to a state title in 2012.
In retrospect, Bosa was heavily underrated as a recruit coming out of high school, despite being listed as a four-star recruit by most services. Bosa would eventually choose Ohio State over the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss and Michigan in April of 2012.
As a freshman at Ohio State, Bosa burst on to the scene, getting Freshman All-American and Freshman All-Big Ten honors, while starting 10 of 14 games. Bosa would end the season with 44 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, helping the Buckeyes to a 12-2 record, a Big Ten Championship appearance and an Orange Bowl birth.
In 2014, would lead the Buckeyes to a 14-1 record, a Big Ten Championship, and the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship. After defeating Alabama 42-35 in the semi-final, Ohio State went on to defeat Oregon 42-20 in the championship game. After finishing the season with 55 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, Bosa would take home unanimous first team All-American honors, First Team All-Big Ten honors, and win the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of The Year award and the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of The Year award.
His junior season would get off to a bit of a rocky start, as Bosa and three other Ohio State players were suspended for undisclosed reasons that are now termed "marijuana and academics.'' Bosa would finish the season with 47 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, five sacks and an interception, again finishing as a first team All-American and first team All-Big Ten player. After helping Ohio state to a 12-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl appearance, a game in which Bosa was ejected for targeting in the first quarter, he would announce his intentions to enter the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft.
At 6’5” 275 pounds, Bosa possesses ideal size for a defensive end in the National Football League. He is known as a tough, strong football player that can control the point of attack with quickness, lightning fast get-off or pure strength.
Bosa has a very impressive football IQ and is technically sound in all areas of defensive line play. He is also versatile enough to play any position along the defensive front at a very high level. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and make plays when his team needs it most. One strength is thought of by some as a detriment: He's so technically skilled that he may not have room to grow there.
Lastly, Bosa is an incredibly hard worker and dedicated to his craft. After watching his father play in the NFL, he understands what it takes to be successful at the next level, and will be able to come in and fit in seamlessly to any defensive scheme he is asked to play in. After his suspension at the beginning of his final season, Bosa chose to live in complete isolation, so he could focus on nothing but football and his academics, avoiding all distractions in the process.
It is said Bosa tends to overthink from time to time, causing him to overcompensate after making a mistake, and often leading to another one. He has good but not great quickness as an edge rusher compared to other NFL players. ... and you wonder if ultimately, in a Cowboys uniform, he's a left end rather than a right end. One more thing: There are more than a couple of Ohio State guys about to enter the NFL with "party-drug'' reps, for what it's worth.
How about Michael Bennett? Both players have similar size, and use their quick get off and high motor to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. Both players also possess unmatched physical raw strength on the edge, and are high value players in stopping the run as well. Michael Strahan is another comp that pops up. The common J.J. Watt comparison? That seems a stretch, as some of Bosa's combine numbers, while in the Watt range, were accomplished without the extra 20 pounds that Watt carries.
Bosa at one time was seen by some as a surefire top-three pick in this years NFL Draft, and was seemingly battling Ole Miss tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil for the top spot. Now? Maybe top-seven seems more accurate.
For the Cowboys, Bosa would be part of moving on from Greg Hardy, as well as giving the Cowboys another book-end along the defensive line to pair up with last year's second-round pick Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence, and the just-signed ex-Raider Benson Mayowa along with the now-returning Jack Crawford. (Oh, and does Jason Jones still want in? Sure, you'll take all the vet-minimum pass rushers you can get.)
He would fill a need for the Cowboys, but would he be the best player available on the board? Truth is, while Zierlein undoubtedly got "no love'' info from somebody, he did so before the Cowboys engaged in an Ohio State workout day that featured Bosa and in any event it's a wide brush to use to paint a thought process that includes multiple Valley Ranch brains that will only start the process on formalizing the Cowboys board around a week from now. (As you can see from CHQ's Draft coverage here, there is justification in continuing to weigh everything and everyone from Jalen Ramsey to Ezekiel Elliott to a QB to a trade-down.)
And more than "not loving,'' there is this: As we get deeper into the process of examining not only all the options at 4 (which include the idea of QB), we see Dallas doing its due diligence on a handful of guys who play Bosa's position, or at least along the D-line. Shaq Lawson joins Bosa as a 30-Visits guy this week, as does DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Rankins, we're told.
Nevertheless, ultimately, with a lot of questions along the D-line for the Cowboys, it might end up not requiring "love,'' but rather just enough "like,'' for Joey Bosa to end up a Cowboy.