They Got Their Guy
With the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers got the man who was at the top of their draft board: Joey Bosa. While it was viewed mostly as a shocking pick, with many draft “experts” pinging an offensive tackle selection at the 3rd pick (or just about anyone else), Tom Telesco and company kept their cards close to the vest and grabbed the disruptive edge defender out of Ohio State University.
Whether or not you personally agree with the pick, the Chargers solved arguably their biggest need on the team by selecting Bosa. Leading up to the draft, there was an overwhelming support for Oregon’s Deforest Buckner among many San Diego media and fans, as the guy who would fill in best at defensive line for the Bolts. Bosa wasn’t on the radar for months (UT’s Kevin Acee one of the very few who predicted correctly). Days before the draft, it was all Buckner, Jalen Ramsey, Laremy Tunsil or Ronnie Stanley; certainly not Joey Bosa.
Once again, months of mocks mean nothing.
The people who actually get paid to select players for our Chargers, got the guy they wanted all along. In the post round 1 press conference (Video here: http://www.chargers.com/video/2016/04/28/tom-telesco-mike-mccoy-round-one-recap), Tom Telesco stated, “He’s been the number one guy since September…In the end, it wasn’t a very hard decision for us.”
Fooled me, fooled a lot of us. Hell, fooled Bosa himself, as he did admitted how the team did not invite him for a pre draft visit. Despite the level of foolery here, the Chargers got a freaking stud.
Stud, you say? With Fire
Pro Football Focus (PFF) evaluates and grades players over the last two years. Heading into the draft, Bosa was Pro Football Focus’s Number 1 overall ranked draft prospect. The dude does it all. He was ranked #1 edge defender in pass rush productivity in 2014 and # 2 in 2015. He was ranked #1 for edge defenders against the run in the nation for both years. You can view Bosa’s complete PPF profile here (https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2016/02/17/draft-joey-bosa-scouting-report/).
When Mike McCoy was asked about what stood out about the defender in the video, he says something that should immediately excite fans when speaking about watching Bosa’s tape: “Any game you turn on, you see 97 (Bosa # at OSU) out there, taking over.” This is exactly the type of player the Chargers needed. A game changer.
A player with not only the stats and production, but the desire. In the press conference video of Telesco and McCoy above, one word routinely gets mentioned in the first few minutes: passion.
Similar to size and speed, you cannot teach passion. You either have it or you don’t, and it can mean the world of difference (think Justin Gilbert vs Jason Verrett). “He’s all football all the time, and that’s contagious on your football team….He loves to play” said Telesco. Head Coach Mike McCoy added, “He has a lot of energy and excitement, the fans are going to love him.” Let the affair begin!
Just Win Baby
You know what fans love the most? WINNING. Joey Bosa is a winner. When asked by Ricky Henne of Chargers.com for a one word description of Bosa pre-draft, that’s exactly what Tom Telesco said, “winner.”
One word for Bosa ⚡️⚡️ https://t.co/lzMBdHPAyD
— Ricky Henne (@ChargersRHenne) April 29, 2016
Not only did he lead his team to a NCAA National Championship with a ridiculous 2014 campaign, the large list of individual achievements is overwhelming (only yearly awards listed):
2013 (Freshman) – All American Freshmen honors by The Sporting News and College Football News
2014 (Sophomore) – Consensus All American, Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year
2015 (Junior) – Consensus All American, First team All Big Ten ,Big Ten’s Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year
The dude has been winning his whole life. He was apart of two state championship teams in high school in Florida. Bosa believes he can bring that type of mentality to the Bolts, as he told ESPN’s Eric Williams (http://espn.go.com/blog/san-diego-chargers/post/_/id/15938/laid-back-joey-bosa-says-he-brings-winning-attitude-to-chargers-park) :
“I’ve been in winning programs, and that’s what I want to do,” Bosa said. “I’ve had that taste in my mouth of winning a championship, and not many people have that. And I think that’s something unique I bring to this team, and I’m going to bring these guys with me.”
But, does he fit? Are Swiss Army Knives a bad thing?
As for as the “Is Bosa a right fit for a 3-4 scheme” debate, I’m not worried about it. He is currently being listed a different spots on the defense, from on the line to standing up outside. No matter where he goes, it’s a positive for the entire defense. Let Joey tell you himself: “ My versatility is something I think this team liked, so they’re going to put me where they see fit, and they’re going to find the best spot for me to help the team win” (Williams).
That’s the point. He brings that versatility and can line up almost anywhere. For the sake of my sanity, let’s look at the new front seven on the 3-4 with Bosa at DE:
Forget about the 3-4 for a second. It’s all about the sub package life nowadays. I mean, the Chargers line up that way over 60% of the time. Now with Bosa, take a quick look at the new front four on the line when the team runs a sub package:
Cue Jonah Hill’s “I just went from six to midnight” quote from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Too much?) If this doesn’t get you pumped to watch this defense on 3rd and longs you might need a new sport to watch.
In closing, the Chargers still have plenty of work to do before the weekend ends. However, this is a major step in the right direction. An impact player was needed with the 3rd pick, and the Chargers got one. Joey Bosa will make an immediate impact on the field, and you can only hope he creates excitement off of it as well as the team continues to push for a new stadium. Hey, if Bosa is stoked, why shouldn’t we be:” I’m pretty pumped to be in San Diego so I can continue going to the beach… I get to continue to be in beautiful weather, maybe get a boat” (Williams).
Suh Dude! See you on the waves, brah! His only regret might be cutting his hair. Don’t worry Joey, it will grow back.
Born and raised in Chula Vista. Lifelong fan of Padres and SDSU (mens’ basketball and football). The former professional football team in San Diego used to be my favorite squad.
My first vivid memories of our beloved teams include witnessing Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott torching teams in the WAC at the Murph, Tony Gwynn sandwiched in the lineup by Gary Sheffield and Fred McGriff.
Check me out on Twitter @Lukelley where there’s a link to my podcast: The LK Show.