Here's what I hope to see from Nick Bosa at the combine
When it was announced that Nick Bosa would sit the remainder of the 2018 season instead of rehabbing for late-season comeback, my stance was simple.
It was a business decision that any of us would’ve made.
Was it a bummer? Absolutely. Could Ohio State have used him when Maryland was scoring points at will? For sure. But was it the wrong decision that he’ll regret forever? Definitely not.
As it stands, Bosa heads into NFL Combine weekend as the likely No. 1 overall pick. His draft stock hasn’t dipped during the months that he’s been rehabbing/training for the NFL. He’s still in line to become a multi-million dollar draft pick with an extremely bright future.
But there’s another business decision that Bosa’s team had to make ahead of this weekend in Indianapolis, and I hope it was the right one. Now is the time for him to show up and show out.
There’s still a chance that Bosa elects not to do very much in Indianapolis, or that he could do well early on and shut it down for most of the tests. The thinking could be “well, if down is the only place I can go, why do a variety of different drills that can potentially hurt my draft stock.” I get that. For some prospects, I think it makes sense.
Kyler Murray, for example, isn’t planning on throwing at the combine. He’ll probably be extremely limited, too. Why? Well because you can turn in 2018 film of Murray and see him make every throw en route to a Heisman Trophy.
You know what we didn’t see a whole lot of in 2018? Bosa. That core muscle injury in non-conference play spoiled his incredible but brief start to the season.
Call me crazy, but it might be nice to give the masses a reminder of why he should be the top pick in this draft. While there is risk in potentially underperforming and casting some doubt about that, it can also be confirmation to what many have been saying for the last year. That is, Bosa is the top prospect, even in a draft loaded at talent at his position.
That’s the other thing. What’s to say EDGE rushers/defensive linemen like Josh Allen, Rashan Gary and Montez Sweat don’t light up the combine and start making some question how much better of a prospect Bosa really is? The talent at his position is so great that a team at the top could elect to trade down and take a defensive end later if Bosa doesn’t look like someone worth grabbing at the top of the draft.
Now obviously all of this is under the assumption that Bosa is indeed all the way healthy from the injury that ended his college career (he says he is, but we’ll find out this weekend). If he’s not, all bets are off. The downside of him pushing through something unnecessarily makes even less sense now than it did when he decided not to return to Ohio State.
In a perfect world, Bosa crushes the combine, and he puts together a performance that rivals his brother Joey, Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett:
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If you recall, Garrett’s combine performance made it overwhelmingly obvious that he was going to be the No. 1 overall pick. That was after some doubt was cast about his college production. He and Clowney were the only 2 non-quarterbacks to go No. 1 overall in the last 5 years. Both of them did so after tearing it up in Indianapolis.
Perhaps we’ll be talking about Bosa’s combine performance in the same light by the end of the weekend.
I know that won’t be the case if Bosa elects to do extremely minimal testing in Indianapolis. That might just add to the opposition about him being worthy of a No. 1 overall pick.
Maybe the way his college career finished is weighing heavily on my concern for how Bosa will treat the combine. It shouldn’t, but I wonder if certain teams at the top of the draft are thinking the same thing. Or maybe they’re hoping Bosa doesn’t ball out at the combine and that he slips a couple spots.
Here’s the good news. Bosa did say a month ago when asked about what he’d do at the combine that he “wouldn’t leave any doubt” as to who should be the No. 1 overall pick. A lot can change in a month, though.
Here’s hoping that’s still the mindset this weekend.