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Cowboys 2016 Draft Prospect Profile: Ohio State Defensive End Joey Bosa

The Cowboys held their top-30 national visits last week, let's take a deep dive on one of the visitors.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

This series will examine all draft prospects that have official invites to Valley Ranch. Previous research has shown these players are the most likely to be drafted by the Cowboys. For more explanation, read the opening paragraphs here.

Name: Joey Bosa
Position: Defensive End
School: Ohio State
Height: 6’ 5 1/4"
Weight: 269 LBs


Suspended for 2015 season opener for marijuana use

First Team All-American -,, Walter Camp, AFCA, CBS Sports

First Team All-Big Ten

Smith-Brown Award Winner (Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year)

Lombardi Award Finalist (Nation’s Best Lineman or Linebacker

Bednarik Award Semi-Finalist (Nation’s Best Defensive Player)

Hendricks Award Semi-Finalist (Nation’s Best Defensive End)


First Team All-American -Unanimous

Nagurski-Woodson Award Winner (Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year)

Smith-Brown Award Winner (Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year)

Lombardi Award Finalist (Nation’s Best Lineman or Linebacker

Hendricks Award Finalist (Nation’s Best Defensive End)


Freshman All-American -Sporting News, College Football News

Athletic Profile

pSparq Score: 125.6 Z-Score: 0.4 NFL Percentile: 67.2

pSparq is an approximation of the "Sparq Score" metric invented by NIKE (with the help of former USC and current Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll), designed as a way to standardize athletic testing of High School athletes and interpret their athleticism with a sport specific formula. By standardizing a single metric composed of multiple athletic test results, it becomes possible to compare players to the athletic testing scores of players in past draft classes, and to provide context as to how a player will compare athletically to his peers at the NFL level. The Z-Score represents the number of standard deviations (sigma) above or below the mean at a particular position that player falls, 84% of players will have a Z-score of less than 1, 98% will have a Z-score of less than 2, and 99.87% will fall below a Z-Score of 3. There are currently a total of four players who are "3 Sigma Athletes" in the NFL, JJ Watt, Byron Jones, Evan Mathis, and Lane Johnson. For more on pSparq,(and the man behind the math Zach Whitman) check out

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results.  The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player’s peers by position.  A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Games Studied: Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan

Passing Game:

Bosa played mostly left defensive end for the Buckeyes and is a player who wins in the rush with power and technique. He has very refined technique in his rush, and uses a variety of moves to defeat blockers. Faced multiple blockers with regularity, but didn’t always defeat single blocks outside when he had the opportunity. Isn’t a highly explosive athlete at his playing weight of 278, but can win the edge occasionally. When he gets the corner, he can struggle to bend and turn the corner to the quarterback and struggles to balance against when leveraged against by a blocker, causing him to be pushed off his line in the rush too easily by tackles as well as tight ends and backs. Probably at his best as a rusher when reduced inside to rush over a guard. Here his technique and the quickness mismatch give him an advantage he doesn’t have against tackles outside. Very disruptive rusher from any spot on the line, but struggled to finish at the quarterback.

Run Game:

This might be the best part of Bosa’s game. His power allows him to hold up at the point of attack against tackles and tight ends in the run game, and his advanced hand usage helps him shed blocks and make plays in the back field and along the line of scrimmage. Is a high motor player who will pursue the zone play away from him.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection: Joey Bosa is one of the more polarizing players in this class. I don’t see him as a dynamic edge rusher that will ever put up 12 or more sacks in a season, but I do think he’s closer to a finished product than most rookie edge players are coming out. His best role is probably one similar to the one played by Michael Bennett in Seattle, as a left defensive end on early downs, who reduces down to a 3-technique defensive tackle on passing downs or against finesse, spread type offenses. This is a similar role to that played by Jack Crawford (who tested better than Bosa) the last couple of years. All of these things considered, I think Bosa is a very good player who is best suited to be a complimentary player on a very good defense, but not one who is a centerpiece of a re-tooling group. If I were in the Cowboys front office, this projection combined with off the field concerns would keep him out of contention for the fourth-overall pick.

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