Know Your Prospect: Don't get cute, Nick Bosa is a no brainer for the 49ers

It's draft season and it's time to get acquainted with some potential future 49ers

Tommy Call
April 16, 2019 - 11:27 pm

We’re about a week away from the 2019 NFL Draft and 95.7 The Game’s “Know Your Prospect” series is fully underway. Leading up to the draft we will highlight some of the top players, best fits and names you should know for the 2019 draft class. With Jimmy Garoppolo coming back from injury and pressure building for John Lynch in year three the 49ers desperately need to put together a draft haul that can make an impact day one.

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Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

Height: 6’4

Weight: 266 lbs

Ohio State Career Stats: 17 sacks, 77 QB Hurries, 29 TFL, 2 FF, 2 PD, 1 TD

40-Yard Dash: 4.79

Big Board Rank: No. 2

Speed? Check. Size? Check. Strength? Check? Versatile? Check.

Hands? — Double check:

Nick Bosa may have some of the best hand usage we’ve seen from a college pass rusher in recent memory. He has the hands of a savvy veteran throughout his rush approach. Bosa doesn’t just use his hands to create separation at the point of contact, he uses them relentlessly through the entire rush. Bosa keeps offensive linemen at a distance with his leverage and can become untouchable with his different technical stabs.

Bosa seems to have an approach with every rush that will often keep offensive linemen confused. He uses his athletic traits to set up his rush then attacks with hands that don’t stop. Bosa has an extensive pass rush repertoire that’ll rival some NFL all-pros. He can attack offensive linemen with a polished array of moves like chops, rips, clubs, push-pulls and anything else you want to call it, but whatever it is, I bet Bosa will be successful with it.

This is what makes Bosa special. He has all the other traits like athletcisim, size and speed you want out of a top-tier edge rusher, but his hand usage make him elite. When it comes to rushing the passer Bosa is extremely refined in his attack for a player his age. Bosa’s pass rush style makes it easy to think he can step in and challenge for double-digit sacks in year one. Bosa is the cure to the 49ers desperate need of an outside pass rusher.

More Than a Pass Rusher:

It’s rare a college pass rusher is heralded for their run-stuffing ability, but Bosa is a straight up bulldog in the run game. He’s a true four down defensive linemen, which is the type of player the 49ers will need with their shiny new wide-nine defense.

The acquisition of Dee Ford will provide a new dynamic to the 49ers defense, but Ford is primarily used as a speed rusher. Ford isn’t awful in the run, but Bosa would solidify the edge for the 49ers rush defense. Bosa easily stacks up defenders with his leverage ability at the line of scrimmage. It can be surprising to see how easy it is for Bosa to stand up offensive linemen with his power and leverage.  Bosa can redirect runs time after time with his ability to stone offensive linemen and clog gaps. Bosa posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 91.4 in 2017 when he played a career-high, 195 run plays.

Adding Bosa to a defensive line with Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner would give the 49ers a stout run defense up front. In a division with Todd Gurley, David Johnson and Seattle’s loaded backfield, run defense should be a priority for the 49ers.

Veteran-Mentality:

You should know by now that Bosa comes from a football family. His brother Joey, is a stud for the Los Angeles and his father, John, was a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1987. Bosa grew up around the game and it shows up on the field. Bosa checks off on some intangibles like awareness, motor and football IQ. Bosa is very aware on the football field. He’s a technician that doesn’t waste steps and plays with a purpose at the line of scrimmage.

Bosa always knows where he is on the field, even in the pass rush he has a very unique sense of timing and angles. He tends to cut the corner at the perfect time in his pass rush set. Bosa also has some of the best timing in his approach you'll see from a prospect. He understands when to attack offensive linemen, whether that be using shuffle steps off the line of scrimmage or hesitations to set up the perfect timing in his rush.

Bosa has a sixth sense on the football field that you have to believe he was born with. He easily filters through the trenches to find the football in every situation. Nothing ever seemed to confuse Bosa while he was playing in the Horseshoe.

Having growing up on the field, Bosa should understand what it means to be a professional; he shouldn’t have as many hiccups as the typical rookie.

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