© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
In early February, during the week preceding the Super Bowl, Nick Bosa told KNBR that he would be lucky to join the 49ers. He cited their stacked roster, led by a franchise quarterback and talented interior defensive line, as too good for a team picking No. 2 overall.
Fast forward nearly two months, and Bosa seemingly got his wish. The 49ers selected the standout Ohio State defensive end with the No. 2 pick Thursday evening.
About an hour after the pick was made, Bosa joined KNBR and reiterated many of the same sentiments.
“I couldn’t be put into a better situation,” Bosa said. “This is a team that shouldn’t be picking this high with all the talent they have. I can’t wait to go to work and win some games.”
Bosa has been considered the top prospect in this draft ever since his sophomore year. That explains why his stock didn’t drop despite playing in just three games in 2018, ending his junior season prematurely. Bosa said he expected his junior season to mark his breakout campaign, though he had tallied 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss in 2017. But he suffered a core muscle injury that ended his college career.
“For that injury to come out of nowhere and take that year away from me, it was one of the hardest times I have ever been through,” Bosa said. “The decision was kind of made for me that I had to move on, and I am so lucky to be on this team. I can’t wait to get there.”
Bosa comes from a lineage of NFL talent. He said he has envisioned an NFL career ever since he was seven years old. His father, John, played three NFL seasons. His older brother, Joey, was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and developed into a Pro Bowler one year later. Many scouts say the Bosa brothers are carbon copies. Part of the collective confidence in Bosa’s career projection is the success we have already seen in Joey’s young career.
The brothers have lived with each other for the past few months. During that time, the younger brother learned how the older brother trained, took care of his body, and treated his work like a professional. For those reasons, Nick, and many others, don’t expect him to experience the steep learning curve most rookies do.
“I think it’s going to be a much smoother transition for me,” Bosa said. “I am really excited to make it.”
When asked about his fit with the 49ers, Bosa said he will be a nine-technique, with his hand in the dirt, rushing the passer. The 49ers have hired defensive line coach Kris Kocurek because he employs wide-nine techniques — designed to spread out the defensive line to give the pass rushers maximum space and leverage. With Bosa on one side, Dee Ford on the other, and DeForest Buckner in the middle, the 49ers’ pass rush is no longer a weakness.
“I am going to be in a nine technique and crushing the edge and rushing the passer. That’s what they drafted me for I am sure, and that’s what I am going to do. It’s exactly what I have been doing my whole life. It’s definitely going to be a good transition, a good fit.”
Listen to Bosa’s segment below.