Welcome to the party, Mr. Bosa! Yesterday it was announced that Ohio State DE Nick Bosa will be foregoing any potential return to the Buckeyes and instead turning his eyes to the pros. The news isn't exactly a stunner, given the precedent set by players in recent years.
Nor does it impact Bosa's attractiveness to pro teams, as I suggested just a few weeks ago. Bosa will be in very, very high demand.
And with this decision, Bosa sets himself up to fully rehabilitate himself from injury and get the high quality training needed to crush his job interview at the 2019 NFL Combine.
But who are the teams looking to land Baby Bosa? Here are five teams with the best chance to bring home Nick Bosa as the NFL landscape currently looks.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3 record)
Put down your swords, Stick Carriers! I am here to help you. To be completely transparent, your pass rush has been quite bad (9 sacks in 5 games).
You invested quite a bit to bring in Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul. Neither one is Nick Bosa and should stop you from hoping to get him. Noah Spence is also *not* Nick Bosa...Spence has been a very big disappointment thus far in his career with the Bucs.
With apologies to Bucs fans, I don't see a happy ending to this season after the Fitzmagical start the team experienced. As the schedule falls the rest of the way, Tampa Bay will probably finish with just enough wins to stay out of contention for the top pick. But boy would it be great if they were to find a way to make this happen.
Tampa gets the nod on this list over a team like the Giants, who so desperately need a quarterback that they might be the only team I'd be willing to give a pass for skipping over Bosa for. And I don't trust this team to win games enough vs. the teams currently ahead of them in the draft order (Denver and Atlanta, most notably)...so here we are.
4. Arizona Cardinals (1-5 record)
The Cardinals are one of those teams that can't afford to turn their nose up to any good football players, regardless of the position they play. (Well...except for maybe quarterback).
The team does have some established pass rushers in Markus Golden and Chandler Jones, but Bosa is the type of talent that you take to improve the overall condition of your roster. Not to mention Bosa has some versatility to play inside and out, he's been a big presence in interior run defending throughout his time with the Buckeyes.
So where does Arizona fall projecting forward? They have a plethora of difficult games on the schedule, contests in which the team is simply going to be outgunned from a talent perspective.
3. Indianapolis Colts (1-5 record)
Quietly, the Colts are in the top three in the NFL in sacks (19 in 6 games). The leading stars? Rookie LB Darius Leonard and veteran DL Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt have combined for 11 of those sacks.
Is that production sustainable? Is it enough to look the other way if the likes of Nick Bosa is on the board? Hell no. The Colts have invested heavily in their defensive line over the past year but they are not a finished product by any means.
Bosa would be a blue chipper on defense and could feasibly be the best player in the defensive line-up from Day One.
The bad news for Colts hopeful wishing this match becomes reality? Depending on your perception of the AFC South, there might be too many winnable football games on the schedule.
Especially when you consider the top two on this list.
2. The Oakland Raiders (1-5 record)
The Raiders currently sit 5th in our draft order with a 1-5 record, which is a great start to landing a top talent. But when considering Oakland owns a second 1st-round pick in 2019 after trading Khalil Mack?
That's a lot of ammo. Add in these five games remaining on the Raiders' schedule:
- Kansas City (x2)
- LA Chargers
...Um. Good luck? We know how much Jon Gruden would love to find a top shelf pass rusher (lol) and Nick would certainly alleviate that need. But would the Raiders use their draft capital to hit reset somewhere else...say...quarterback?
1. San Francisco 49ers (1-5 record)
Here's the thing about San Francisco. They've lost their franchise quarterback for the year. They have been put through the ringer with injuries and their pass rush situation is, well, awful.
So many first round defensive linemen, so little production (reminder: Armstead, Buckner and Thomas were all 1st-round picks in the last 4 years).
Hell, at this point, what's one more? The 49ers have a challenging schedule ahead:
- LA Rams (x2)
- Seattle (x2)
But there's also some key loser leaves town matches with other high pick candidates:
- New York Giants
- Tampa Bay
This sums up nine of the final ten games on the 49ers schedule, so the team's fate is unquestionably in their own hands. I've read a lot of San Francisco fans pining for Nick Bosa...it's all up to your squad, my friends.