Here’s a list of people I won’t waste my breath on: people who think either soft or hard tacos are bad, people who think either boneless or bone-in wings are bad and people who don’t think Nick Bosa is the best football player in the 2019 NFL Draft class, regardless of who else declares.
In case you missed it, the news is official. Player no. 1 is declaring for the NFL Draft, withdrawing from school to focus on his rehabilitation from a core muscle injury sustained a few weeks ago.
It’s a wise move for Bosa, who simply needs to check the boxes we already know he will check during the pre-draft process. Can’t do that if you’re not healthy. Objective no. 1: Get healthy and in the best shape you can possibly be in. Objective no. 2: Check the boxes everyone already knows you will check. Objective no. 3: Be the first non-quarterback off the board.
All of these objectives can now be accomplished by Bosa. If he isn’t the first non-quarterback off the board, someone messed up.
All the NFL teams that could be picking at the top of the draft; Buffalo, Indianapolis, Denver, Oakland, Arizona, San Francisco or the New York Giants would kill for a quarterback or Bosa. He’s a game-changing player at the most important position in the league after the quarterback spot, and an immediate impact player in the NFL.
You can win the edge in three ways in the NFL: bend it, tilt it or trim it, and no, this isn’t Edge Defender Bop It.
Bend it: reducing your surface area by bending through contact at the hips or under contact at the waist to win the edge.
Tilt it: the Yannick Ngakoue special. Relies on ankle flexibility to lean into contact and bend at the ankles to turn a tight angle to the quarterback.
Trim it: Work any number of moves to manipulate your opponent and soften the edge. Could be an inside jab step to slow the tackle’s pass set and free up space to corner. Could be a rip, outside swim, cross-chop, double hand swipe (J.J. Watt special), long arm, etc. It isn’t quite as reliable a method as just being able to win with natural gifts, but even the best athletes have to have some of this in their repertoire, or they end up like Vic Beasley.
Bosa is a good bender, an exceptional tilter and a world-class trimmer. Players like that are rare, and don’t deserve to be passed up by any non-quarterback. And Bosa won’t be.
I’m not here to shred other players’ stock in their quest to be no.1, or talk about how Ed Oliver is too light or Raekwon Davis doesn’t have enough pass rush moves or Greedy Williams still has issues defending vertical balls in press man. There’s no need to do any of that. Bosa’s game speaks for itself.
And no, his stock isn’t going to fall because he isn’t going back to Ohio State to finish the season. NFL teams are probably thrilled he isn’t risking further injury or trying to play at less than 100 percent. Not one general manager will care about Bosa’s decision in a negative fashion whatsoever. It’s a non-factor. Stop talking about it for clicks.
Bosa is the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft class, and that isn’t going to change as the draft approaches. There isn’t any aspect of the position that he can’t fulfill at a high level, and his size, strength and technique translate to immediate NFL playing time and production. He might test even more athletically than his brother, who is already a top five pass rusher in the NFL.
The draft is hard to get right. Nick Bosa isn’t. He’s player no. 1, he made the right decision and he’s going to have an incredible NFL career. Now all you have to do is hope your team is in position to land him on draft day.