Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook: Scouts 'Can't See Anyone Coming Close' to Bosa

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterOctober 19, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1:  Nick Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Oregon State Beavers at Ohio Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Oregon State 77-31.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State junior Nick Bosa entered the 2018 season as the top player on many NFL draft boards for both teams and analysts. He's now officially part of the 2019 NFL draft class after opting to withdraw from school to prepare for predraft workouts after suffering a core injury.

Is the defensive end as good as advertised? Where does he fit in an NFL scheme? 

"I can't see anyone coming close to Bosa," said an NFL scouting director. "The only way he's not the first pick in the draft is if a team falls for a quarterback. There isn't anyone you'd actually take over him on talent."

Bosa is as good as advertised, at least according to conversations with scouts and executives. There's also the film study, which shows him as an elite athlete coming off the ball with advanced technique as a pass-rusher.

"He doesn't move like [Khalil] Mack or Von [Miller], but he moves a lot like his brother [Joey Bosa] with a touch more twitch," said another area scout assigned to cover Ohio State.

The fact that NFL scouts have already seen what big brother Joey can do in the NFL—he has 23 sacks in 28 pro games—gives peace of mind when considering the younger Bosa. There's also the fact that dad John was a first-round pick in the 1987 NFL draft, grandfather Palmer Pyle played six years in the league, and uncles Mike Pyle (nine years) and Eric Kumerow (first-rounder, 1988) all had NFL careers. 

Bosa is close to a can't-miss prospect, as long as he can stay healthy.

Teams drafting early in Round 1 will love Bosa's athleticism, pro-readiness and scheme versatility. An early look at the draft order reveals many clubs that would love to plug him right into the depth chart. Three teams currently projected to draft in the top five are all perfect fits:

San Francisco 49ers: Despite drafting defensive linemen early and often as of late, the 49ers still need an outside pass-rusher. Bosa would be an easy pick for general manager John Lynch if the Niners are selecting first overall.

Oakland Raiders: After trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears, this one is obvious. The Raiders need an outside pass-rusher, and Bosa is the best in this class.

Indianapolis Colts: It would be a huge mistake for general manager Chris Ballard to pass on Bosa if the Colts can somehow find themselves on the clock when he's available.

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press



What else is happening this week?

  • NFL draft prospect stock watch
  • Rumors from around the NFL and NCAA
  • Stick to Football podcast Tailgate Tour details
  • Parting shots


The Scout's Report 

—The top-ranked receiver on my big board, Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf, will be out for the remainder of the 2018 season with a neck injury. The redshirt sophomore was among the underclassmen we were tracking for the upcoming draft. His stock is currently on hold as we wait to see what will come from the injury and his rehab. Will Metcalf still declare? That's a question that no sources had an answer for when asked.

—Another top underclassman we're all tracking is Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The first-year starter is a legitimate Heisman candidate, and in a draft class with limited top options at the position, Haskins could make a move similar to Mitchell Trubisky in the 2016 draft and leave school early as a one-and-done starter. If Haskins does declare, there is already talk from agents and scouts that he would be a first-round quarterback.

—The upcoming tight end class could be stacked; already there is a fight for the TE1 spot. Alabama's Irv Smith Jr. is emerging as a dynamic threat in the new-found Crimson Tide passing game. He's competing with Iowa's Noah Fant—a star receiver and blocker—and Stanford's Kaden Smith. All three look like potential first-rounders.

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 28:  Teammates Clelin Ferrell #99 and Austin Bryant #7 of the Clemson Tigers try to stop KirVonte Benson #30 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (P
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

—The Clemson defensive line has been under intense scrutiny this season due to the high draft stock assigned to the four starters over the summer. While Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell have seen their stock dip, Dexter Lawrence has impressed evaluators. Said one scout, "Now that he's healthy, Lawrence looks like a first-rounder again."

—After seeing the LSU Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs in person, it's easy to see why scouts love linebacker Devin White. His speed and instincts jump off the field with top-tier athleticism that will excite scouts. White currently sits in my top five.

—Another week into the season, there is more conviction from scouts that Oregon's Justin Herbert is the top quarterback in the class. Said one area scout, "There's no other quarterback even competing with him."


Stock Watch

Stock Up: Alabama Defensive Lineman Quinnen Williams

The Crimson Tide have three potential first-rounders on the defensive line with Raekwon Davis and Isaiah Buggs both being mentioned in previous articles. Now it's Quinnen Williams' turn. Williams has been on a tear so far this season with 7.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Only a redshirt sophomore, Williams is no lock to enter the 2019 draft, but his name is getting scouts excited.                


Stock Up: Georgia Cornerback Deandre Baker

Seeing a player in person often helps fill in the picture of what they are as a prospect. Seeing Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker last week in Baton Rouge did just that. Baker's much more athletic in person than expected and has the physique to play immediately in the NFL as a tough outside cornerback.                 


Stock Down: Missouri Quarterback Drew Lock

Another week, another move down the board for Drew Lock. The Missouri quarterback has failed to complete more than 50 percent of his passes in the last three games and has tossed five interceptions in those contests while facing top teams Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia. Lock looked great against lesser competition, but his struggles against better squads is a concern.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 13: Drew Lock #3 of the Missouri Tigers throws a pass during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama won 39-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images


Stock Down: Stanford Running Back Bryce Love

It's starting to look like Bryce Love made a mistake in deciding to return to Stanford for his senior season. Graded by scouts as a Day 2 player last year, Love's stock has tumbled after an injury-plagued campaign. Love was one of the nation's best running backs in 2017, but scouts have to worry about a 5'10", 200-pound back who can't manage to stay healthy.


The Big Board

It's updated Big Board time. Here's my most recent Top 32:

1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

2. Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

3. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

4. Devin White, LB, LSU

5. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

6. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

7. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

8. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

9. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

10. Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

11. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

12. Dre'Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State

13. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

14. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

15. David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

16. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

17. Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama

18. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

19. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

20. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21. Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky

22. Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State

23. Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

24. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

25. Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

26. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

27. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

28. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

29. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

30. Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame

31. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

32. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss


Parting Shots

5. The NFL season has given us six weeks of games thus far, which means there is a clear picture emerging of what the draft order will look like. Here's the current order, based on win/loss percentage and strength of schedule.

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. New York Giants
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. Arizona Cardinals
5. Oakland Raiders
6. Buffalo Bills
7. Atlanta Falcons
8. Denver Broncos
9. Detroit Lions
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11. Cleveland Browns
12. Philadelphia Eagles
13. Houston Texans
14. New York Jets
15. Dallas Cowboys
16. Seattle Seahawks
17. Jacksonville Jaguars
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
20. Miami Dolphins
21. Tennessee Titans
22. Green Bay Packers
23. Washington Redskins
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)
26. Baltimore Ravens
27. Los Angeles Chargers
28. Cincinnati Bengals
29. New England Patriots
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans)
31. Kansas City Chiefs
32. Los Angeles Rams 

4. This is the earliest I've ever added an Underclassman Watch List to the Scouting Notebook, but with two juniors now declared for the draft, it's time to start tracking:

Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

3. Game balls for Week 7 of college football:

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State: 33-of-44, 412 yards, 3 TD
Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis: 31 carries, 199 yards, 1 TD
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State: 29 carries, 189 yards, 1 TD
Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State: 34 carries, 181 yards, 4 TD
Flynn Nagel, WR, Northwestern: 12 catches, 220 yards, 2 TD

2. Here are the college games you'll want to scout this weekend:

No. 6 Michigan at No. 24 Michigan State
No. 9 Oklahoma at TCU
No. 16 NC State at No. 3 Clemson
No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU
No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington State

1. Stick to Football jumps into our Top 10 draft boards as we near the midway point of the season on the Wednesday show. Friday brings us previews and picks. Check it out and subscribe if you haven't already. We will also post a ton of behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram page.


Matt Miller covers the NFL and NFL draft for Bleacher Report.


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