INDIANAPOLIS – Nick Bosa wasn’t the fastest defensive end at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, but he didn’t need to be.
All Bosa needed to solidify his standing as one of the 2019 NFL draft’s top prospects was to put together a well-rounded combine that proved he is healthy and has all the athletic traits that scouts look for in an NFL edge defender, and that’s what the former Ohio State star delivered.
Bosa completed his 40-yard dash in an official time of 4.79 seconds on Sunday, which doesn’t jump off the page. It was tied for just the 15th-fastest time out of 46 defensive linemen who ran the drill on Sunday morning. But it was still seven hundredths of a second faster than his older brother Joey’s 40-yard dash time at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine; Joey went on to be the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and has become one of the best defensive ends in the NFL.
More importantly, the 10-yard split in Bosa’s 40-yard dash was clocked at 1.55 seconds – tied for the third-fastest mark among all defensive linemen, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah – and that’s what will really show up in a football game. While it’s rare that Bosa will need to run 40 yards in a straight line, the 10-yard split demonstrates his ability to burst out of his stance, which is a big part of what makes him so successful as a pass-rusher.
Bosa has been checking off all the necessary boxes since he arrived at the combine. The first box was perhaps the most important; he came through the medical evaluations with a clean bill of health, which was the first thing he had to prove in Indianapolis after his final season at Ohio State was cut short by core muscle surgery.
He weighed in at 6-foot-3 and 3/4 inches and 266 pounds with 33-inch arms, 10 3/4-inch hands and a 77 7/8-inch wingspan, demonstrating that he has the prototypical measurables for playing the defensive end position.
On Friday, Bosa put up 29 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, the best mark among defensive ends and the eighth-best mark among all defensive linemen, putting his strength on display.
Then, on Saturday, Bosa participated in every drill (with the exception of the 60-yard shuttle, which defensive linemen typically don’t run) and put up solid numbers across the board, highlighted by a 4.14-second run in the 20-yard shuttle, the third-fastest time among all defensive linemen, showing his ability to change directions and accelerate quickly.
He also posted a 7.10-second 3-cone drill (10th among defensive linemen), a 33.5-inch vertical jump (tied for 19th among defensive linemen) and a 9-foot-8 broad jump (tied for 20th).
Altogether, Nick’s workout numbers on Sunday were very comparable to Joey’s numbers from three years ago, with the younger Bosa slightly bettering the older Bosa’s marks in four out of six athletic tests.
|Measurable||Nick Bosa (2019)||Joey Bosa (2016)|
|HEIGHT||6-3 3/4||6-5 1/4|
Where Bosa really shined, though, was in the on-field position drills, where he showed fast feet and moved fluidly with little wasted motion. He did drop a couple passes in linebacker drills – which makes sense, considering he’s never actually played linebacker – but he moved as efficiently as any defensive lineman in the drills, looking the part of an elite prospect.
There’s still going to be a debate about whether Bosa is the draft’s best player, and some of the other defensive linemen had great performances on Sunday that should strengthen their chances of being a top pick.
Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, the other player not named Kyler Murray most commonly projected to be the No. 1 overall pick, helped his chances by running a 4.83-second 40-yard dash – a spectacular time for a 303-pound lineman – on Sunday. Michigan’s Rashan Gary proved that he is one of the draft’s most freakish athletes by posting a 4.61-second 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical jump and 10-foot broad jump at 277 pounds. Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat had the most spectacular showing of any defensive lineman, breaking the combine record for a defensive lineman with a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and also ranking in the top 10 defensive linemen in the vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill.
Combine Bosa’s combine performance with the dominance he displayed during his Ohio State career, though, and he’s got as strong a case as anyone for being the draft’s No. 1 overall prospect. And now that the combine is behind him and he has checked off all the boxes, he appears to be a lock to be a top-five pick.