Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is widely considered the top defensive end in the 2016 NFL Draft class, and a contender to be the No. 1 overall pick this April. Not everyone thinks that highly of the productive former Buckeye, however. SEC Network's Booger McFarland joined Dari Nowkhah and Mel Kiper's ESPN podcast, and discussed Bosa, who he thinks is overrated. Saturday Tradition transcribed parts of the podcast. McFarland's segment begins around the 34 minute mark.
“I start looking at a guy who’s probably gonna measure 6-3, 6-3 1/2, maybe 6-4 and about 265-270 pounds, I don’t know where you put him at,” McFarland said. “I don’t see the type of production and the type of athleticism that I think is gonna translate to the NFL. I think he’s a bit overrated by this Kiper guy.”
One of McFarland's main criticisms is a potential lack of versatility, which could limit Bosa's effectiveness at different spots in the NFL's various defenses.
“[Bosa] had a lot of production at Ohio State, but when you look at how he’s gonna fit in the NFL, let’s talk about the positions that he can and cannot play,” he said. “Is he a right end and is he a guy that has elite speed that can turn the corner? I don’t think so. Can he play left end? I think left end in a 4-3 is a spot he could play.
Interestingly, one of the defensive ends McFarland likes more is a former Bosa teammate at Ohio State, Noah Spence.
"Noah Spence is the best edge rusher in this draft, and quite frankly, Mel, it's not even close. You talk about elite athleticism, can turn the corner. The one thing Joey Bosa has is good technique, but technique with no athleticism I don't think translates to the NFL. I think Noah Spence, whoever gets him is gonna get a guy that's gonna be a Von Miller type. A guy that can be a 10, 12, 15 sack a year guy for a long time."
That's big time praise for the Eastern Kentucky product, who had 63 tackles and 11.5 sacks for the Colonials this season. McFarland isn't the first one to compare Spence to Von Miller; Ohio State's Michael Thomas did the same a few weeks ago. Spence left Ohio State after being suspended for failing a drug test.