INDIANAPOLIS — Joey Bosa believes he is the best player in the 2016 NFL Draft, and isn't shying away from letting his future employers know it.
"I do believe I'm the best player in the draft," Bosa said Friday when he met the media at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "There's of course a lot of amazing players in the draft and it's going to be up to Tennessee to make that decision. But I think as a top player, if you don't believe that then there's something wrong."
The Titans hold the top pick in April's draft, and they no doubt will pick Bosa's brain and watch him closely when he does drills Saturday. Bosa said he intends to do every drill at the combine, but also plans to make the Titans and other teams near the top of the draft board know he deserves to be considered in a class my himself.
"If they’re going to go out on a limb and pick me and give me all that money and pick me No. 1 over all those guys, they gotta feel confident that I’m the best," Bosa said.
The two-time Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and All-American never was short on confidence in his three years at Ohio State. As he stood at the podium in a room filled to the brim with anxious reporters, Bosa stayed true.
“If they’re going to go out on a limb and pick me and give me all that money and pick me No. 1 over all those guys, they gotta feel confident that I’m the best.”– Joey Bosa
He offered a casual "Sup?" before the first question came, shared his appreciation for Larry Johnson and Ohio State and joked about needing to marry a "tall, athletic girl" in order to keep the Bosa football pipeline moving. Bosa's uncle and father played in the NFL, and his younger brother is rumored to be better than he was at this point in his career. Nick is set to enroll at Ohio State this summer.
Bosa covered all the bases in his 10-minute session, even politely deferring a question about his suspension for the first game of 2015 for breaking a team rule by saying he planned to address that with NFL teams. He offered a smile, jokes and spoke in his lighthearted tone fans grew to love in Columbus.
"I missed the media. I haven't been out in front of you guys in a while," Bosa said. "After meeting with a bunch of NFL coaches, you guys are nothing."
Bosa's draft stock fell in recent weeks, with analysts unsure where he will best fit in the NFL — as a down lineman in a 4-3 defense or as a standup outside linebacker in a 3-4. Some fear he is "too robotic" to play at a high level in the NFL.
Bosa said its fair to assume he's more comfortable in a 4-3 because that's what he's played his whole life, but has been working on turning his hips and dropping in pass coverage. It's a part of his preparation for the combine, which includes two workouts a day six days per week and a diet that consists of a slew of calories.
"It's tough when your metabolism is going like it is and I'm eating a ridiculous amount," Bosa said. "I don't know where the hell it's going."
It's going to a likely top-10 selection at the draft, and he has a chance to boost his stock back near the very top like it was during his final year at Ohio State. Bosa, though, isn't worried about having to prove he belongs in the conversation as the best. He already thinks he is.
"Prove? No, I'm just handling what I can control," Bosa said. "I've been training as hard as I possibly could and I'm going to just going to do as well as I possibly can at every event."
That starts Friday evening with more team interviews and continues into Saturday during on-field workouts. All steps for the guy who was dominant in college confident he can do it as a professional.
"I really never could have dreamt that I would be in this situation, being considered to go No. 1 overall. It's kind of mind blowing," Bosa said. "It’s the most important job interview of my life. They’re going to come after you from all angles and try to find out who you are."