Joey Bosa is drawing some big-time comparisons at the NFL Combine. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport quoted one scout comparing the Ohio State defensive end to Jared Allen.
Heard an interesting comparison for #tOSU's Joey Bosa after today's workouts: Jared Allen. If he had that kind of career, he'll be OK.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 28, 2016
Not to be outdone, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel quoted two people who compared Bosa to Justin Smith.
The first was Joey’s father John, who himself was a first round draft pick in 1987.
“He’s a little better version of Justin Smith when he came out of Missouri (in 2001).”
That’s quite a comparison, but that’s to be expected from a father. The same can’t be said for a scout, who McGinn quoted making a similar comparison.
“Little better athlete. Strong, tough guy like that. Good motor.”
Bosa is a good athlete and he may well be a fine NFL defensive end, but comparing him to two All-Pro, borderline Hall of Fame players is pushing it.
Both Allen and Smith were versatile enough to fit into different defensive schemes. Allen could play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense or defensive end in a 4-3. Smith didn’t have the quickness to be a 3-4 linebacker, but he had the right combination of speed and strength to play as a defensive tackle or defensive end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system.
Bosa hasn’t shown that he can do that. Entering the draft, he looks like the kind of player who can be a 4-3 defensive end and nothing else. He doesn’t have the strength needed to be a 3-4 end and doesn’t have the speed to be a 3-4 linebacker.
He’s also a guy that managed only five sacks in his final year with the Buckeyes. Yes, he drew a lot of attention from opposing offensive lines and certainly supplied his share of quarterback pressures, but five sacks is not exactly a great output for defensive lineman likely to be taken in the Top-10 who’s drawing favorable comparisons to two of the best linemen of the last decade.
Joey Bosa would do well to have a career that’s anywhere near as good as Allen’s or Smith’s. While he’s certainly a talented player, Bosa has too many question marks to be drawing such comparisons before ever playing an NFL game or even getting drafted.