There may be no name more polarizing in this year's draft to Cowboys' fans than Joey Bosa. No matter when his name comes up it is followed with a thousand opinions. We have just over 20 days until the draft takes place in Chicago, an event that I myself will be attending. It got me thinking, should we prepare for the possibility of the Cowboys taking Joey Bosa fourth overall? Yes. We absolutely should. Which got me thinking again, just how does the BTB community feel about this becoming a reality on April 28th?
First, let's revisit what we know about Bosa. For one thing, he's the consensus best pass rusher available in terms of the full package at the position. He was a dominant player for the Buckeyes as well where he racked up 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in three seasons. Most will first point out to you that he averaged under nine sacks per season but that doesn't tell the whole story. You see, in 2015, Bosa only had five sacks, but he was almost constantly double-teamed, and still managed 16 tackles for loss. By doing so, it freed up the entire line to contribute 38 sacks and 83 tackles for loss in just 13 games.
What really stands out about Bosa's game is how he practically has a mortgage in the backfield. We're talking about a guy who had 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman. He followed that up with 13.5 sacks and a staggering 21 tackles for loss as a sophomore on his way to becoming a First-Team All-American and National Champion. Okay, we get it. He's a gifted athlete, what about the knocks on this guy?
First, you got to take into consideration that he was suspended for the opener at Virginia Tech for undisclosed reasons but it was likely marijuana. He's also been criticized for being too close to his ceiling. When has a player ever been chastised for being a ready-to-go prospect? There are concerns that he doesn't have what it takes to be a perennial sack-artist, but those same folks say that he will automatically upgrade any defense he's added to.
Bosa gets two comparisons to former NFL players; Greg Ellis and Jared Allen. Cowboys fans shutter when they hear Ellis because it meant a pass on Randy Moss. Is Ellis on his way to the Hall? No. However, Ellis recorded 394 tackles, 84 sacks, 20 forced fumbles, and four interceptions in 12 seasons. That's not bad, Ellis was a good player for the Cowboys. We don't really need to mention Allen's career as most of us are fully aware and he's a candidate for the Hall of Fame one day. So what if Bosa is in between Ellis and Allen? Would that be good enough for the Cowboys? What if the Cowboys take Joey Bosa at fourth-overall? What will the reaction be? I posed this question to the front page writers and here's what we got:
Dave Halprin: I don't have any problem with the Cowboys taking Joey Bosa at pick number four. In some ways, I feel like he is the safest pick in the draft. He is likely to be a regular starter for a long time and can contribute in a lot of ways. The big issue is obviously - is he dynamic enough to be a serious pass rusher in the NFL? That's hard to answer, but in every other way, I believe he will contribute at a high level. Because of his strength and ability to stand up a blocker and push him around, he'll be good against the run and he'll be disruptive even if he doesn't get to the quarterback.
He'll be versatile enough to move around, and he'll be a good player to use with line stunts. There is the argument that with the #4 pick you want more, especially if you draft an edge rusher. There is truth to that, but it is still possible that Bosa will be more. But at least at the minimum, you'll get a quality starter at a position where the Cowboys desperately need quality.
Tom Ryle: If Cowboys were to take Bosa at four, I would have to assume that was what their board said, and they either thought he was more valuable than a trade back or were unable to find a partner who would give them what they want. They have taken a lot of time to look at him, so they should know what they are getting. Just because we are less than sold on him does not mean that the Cowboys, especially Marinelli, aren't.
The big knock on him seems to be something of a lackadaisical attitude and a feeling he is already at his ceiling. I really don't have a read on the first, and am somewhat doubtful that he cannot learn and improve at least somewhat. If he is the pick, the only real disappointment is that we will probably see Jalen Ramsey gone by then, and we will not get to find out what Ezekiel Elliott could do with the Cowboys offense. Outside of that, if he is the best edge rusher in the draft, the downside is just not what some make it out to be.
One.Cool.Customer: The Cowboys need help all over their defensive line, and Joey Bosa is the best defensive lineman in the draft. The Cowboys are such an obvious fit for Bosa that it's become the most boring pick imaginable for the Cowboys, especially since the fit has been blatantly obvious since the final game of the season.
And because it's such a boring pick, people have been looking for alternatives if for no other reason than to have something else to talk about. But just because it's a boring pick doesn't mean it's a bad pick, far from it. There's a very good chance Bosa will anchor the Cowboys' D-line for the next dozen years or so, and while he might not be the sexiest pick, he may well be the most solid pick.
Joey Ickes: Joey B(r)osa is a very good football player who will likely be a good pro for a number of years. He does all the little things well that you want your defensive linemen to do, and has position flex to be disruptive from multiple alignments along the front. However, when picking at number 4 overall, I want to find a dynamic, franchise-defining player, and while Bosa would be a valuable contributor, he is more Greg Ellis or Anthony Spencer than he is DeMarcus Ware. That combined with the off-field concerns relating to drug use at Ohio State, would leave me a great deal of concern if he were the pick at 4.
Jim Scott: Not so much approve or disapprove either one as be mildly disappointed. I don't see him as the impactful, top 5 type player that some others see. But it's not a bad pick and it's a position of need to boot. It had better mean that they have correctly evaluated all three QBs as busts, though. If they miss a chance to draft a franchise QB, they (and we) will rue the day for a decade or more
Danny Phantom: From my own personal analysis, the thought of taking him at four scares me. Not being quick off the ball doesn't concern me too much. Being ejected for "targeting" only mildly worries me. But over-pursuing and not finishing plays are the two things I've noticed on tape that make me unsettled to where I question his football sense and the type of player he is. But I'm not a scout. If the Cowboys end up selecting him, that means Rod Marinelli loves him and that part excites me a great deal.
For me, I just expect an impact pass rusher to be lingering around at 34 and Marinelli can sniff him out. In Rod We Trust.
Ryan Ratty: At this time last year, if fans were to hear that Joey Bosa was our first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, people will be thrilled. But after this past season, many seem to already label him as a bust. The Cowboys have drafted for value with positions of need in recent memory. The perfect example of that is Byron Jones. Cornerback was a huge need and the Cowboys got one of the best players on their board.
They also received a ton of production out of him as well. Dallas has a need at the left defensive end position and while his stock may have fallen off a little, Bosa is still the scariest defensive lineman in this draft. In Dallas' 4-3 and with Rod Marinelli coaching him up, there is no reason why he can't develop into a star, and I mean develop into one quickly.
You see, we have not seen a player more polarizing at pick four with so many differing opinions. Now that we have the opinions of our front page guys, I'm curious to know yours. Let the great debate begin...