SANTA CLARA — The 49ers just drafted Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. Let’s break down the positives and negatives of this pick.
- Strong and powerful (29 reps on the bench).
- Plays hard.
- Advanced pass-rush technique and hand usage.
- Only 21 years old.
- Joey Bosa’s little brother.
- Almost universally considered the second-best player in the draft.
- Short arms (33 inches).
- Doesn’t have an explosive first step (33.5-inch vertical jump, 116-inch broad jump).
- Not a full-time player in college (alternated defensive series).
- Struggled against NFL-caliber offensive tackles in college (see: Orlando Brown).
- Plays the same position (Leo) as Dee Ford.
- Serious injury history (tore his ACL in high school, missed 11 games last season with an abdominal strain).
- Unclear if he will play through injury.
- Troubling social-media activity.
This was the worst move the 49ers could have made with the second pick. I would have taken Josh Allen. Former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan would have taken Quinnen Williams. Either player would have been terrific for the 49ers. The best move would have been trading down.
Instead, the 49ers took yet another player with a troubling injury history.
Still, if Bosa stays healthy (big if), he should be a good player. He’s not Solomon Thomas, who can’t rush the quarterback to save his life, and should have been a second- or third-rounder. Bosa has pass-rush talent. He should record about eight sacks per season, give or take.
Here’s the question: Did the 49ers pass on someone better who will average more than eight sacks per season? The answer probably is yes.