Burst - Impressive first step burst with low pad level to remain aerodynamic up the arc. Stride lengths are eye-popping, gains ground in a hurry and can get to top speed quickly. At times is a tad late off the ball, can do a better job of timing up the cadence more consistently. Sudden mover who can alter his path quickly without losing speed.
Bend - Not a hip-bender like Myles Garrett, but has shown the ability to duck under punches while maintaining his speed up the arc. Tilts the edge with awesome ankle flexibility, powering through contact to trim tight angles to the pocket. Negates lack of elite hip bend by getting feet and hips consistently pointed toward the pocket early, creating favorable angles to the quarterback.
Rush Moves - Ridiculous repertoire of moves, including cross-chops, clubs, 2-hand swats, bull rushes, inside swims, push-pulls and rips. Only move I'd like to see more of is the long arm given how devastating it could be for Bosa. Initiates contact consistently and is always working a plan of attack. Incredible ability to absorb contact, hand-fight through it and continue undeterred up the arc.
Counters - Seems to be getting better in this area, although so infrequently had his initial move stymied that he rarely had to counter. Outstanding at recognizing oversets and taking inside paths to the quarterback when available. Quickly and readily alters his path on the move, has flashed a spin move to work back inside or outside that will come in handy in the NFL.
Run Defense - Fires off the ball with both hands inside his opponent, showing good pad level and technique. Can do a better job of maintaining full arm extension to lock out the edge. Recognizing blocking schemes is a work in progress. Has the power and tenacity to toss blockers aside and does so frequently. May get knocked back a half-step initially, but almost always wins the exchange in a timely fashion to control his gap. Range and hustle are excellent.
Lateral Mobility - Stutter-steps to manipulate pass sets are a thing of beauty. Can start on the outside shoulder of the tackle and cross his face so fast the guard can't even get over to help in time. Not a ton of examples of playing in space, but seems to move laterally at a high level and has little issue changing direction.
Mental Processing/Vision - Reads pass sets well and understands how to attack his opponent. Finds blocker's hands and compromises them. Good job of stepping down when unblocked off the line of scrimmage. Can get too deep at times when teeing off, widening his gap and allowing himself to be sealed off from runs inside of him.
Tackling/Finishing - Like his brother, will occasionally lose his balance while attempting to finish, a weird mini-tendency that I haven't noticed in many rushers outside of he and Joey (more frequent with Joey). As a tackler, unbelievable grip strength and radius to consistently get opponents on the ground. Would like to see him target the ball a little more during sacks in the NFL.
Competitive Toughness - Ultra-physical and consistently hustling when on the field. Doesn't take plays off and appears to be in unbelievable physical condition.
Athleticism/Size - Elite size, length, muscle distribution and athleticism.
BEST TRAIT - Rush Moves
WORST TRAIT - Balance
RED FLAGS - Season-ending core injury in 2018
Perhaps the phrase "can't miss prospect" is an overused one that should be thrown out, but if we were to use it, Nick Bosa makes sense as the subject. All the physical traits are there to succeed as well as the athletic ones, and his polish and pass rush repertoire is rare for a player straight out of college. To see how he stacks up against recent elite edge defender prospects, check out the trait-by-trait comparison I did mid-December. Bosa should be the first or second non-quarterback off the board and has All-Pro potential early in his career.