The Los Angeles Chargers selected Joey Bosa with the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. A highly-touted edge rusher out of Ohio State, it was no question to anyone that Bosa would inevitably become one of the best at his position in the NFL. But what makes him such a good edge rusher? What exactly did scouts see in him to be so enamored by his play? In other words, what are his strengths and weaknesses? This is the Joey Bosa player profile.
Joey Bosa’s pure strength is nothing to scoff at. One of the most notable things about his college tape and NFL Combine performance was his pure strength. And for an edge rusher, strength is one of, if not the most, important skill to have. For an edge rusher, strength opens the door for a variety of moves to use. The first to come to mind is the bull rush, where the edge will use brute force to simply push through the offensive tackle. This move is one of Bosa’s signature moves.
Something to keep in mind is that there are two types of body strength when it comes to pass-rushing: upper body and lower body. While these two tend to work together, like with the bull rush, it’s ideal for an edge to possess a lot of lower body strength. Bosa has both in spades.
Elite Hand Technique
The thing that makes Bosa such a major threat for opposing offenses is not just his pure strength. After all, if Bosa went against a massive bulwark of a tackle (like Mekhi Becton on the New York Jets), he would struggle immensely in a battle of strength. No, what makes Bosa such a threat is his strength coupled with his hand technique. Hand techniques are the finesse side of edge-rushing; an antithesis to body strength. Having a wide arsenal of hand techniques can be make-or-break for an edge rusher, like in the example mentioned earlier.
Joey Bosa possesses a variety of moves to his game that make him a near-perennial All-Star. His signature move, though, would have to be the “swipe-and-rip” move. As Robert Mays from The Ringer puts it, “Instead of speeding up to slow down—the way so many great pass rushers thrive—Bosa slows down just to speed back up.” Essentially, in a swipe-and-rip, the edge baits the tackle into a battle of strength upfront, then rips underneath to the inside. It’s a perfect blend of strength, speed, and hand technique, and Bosa is elite in all of these categories.
Bosa sadly is yet another victim of Anthony Lynn’s regime, which prioritized playing through minor injuries until they became major injuries. Any pain or discomfort would be ignored under Lynn’s staff, which led to many Chargers players spending time out. Through 5 seasons in the NFL, Bosa has suffered 8 different injuries! This is unacceptable for a coaching staff to do, and is easily the biggest mistake under Lynn’s regime. Bosa was still a Pro Bowler in four of six seasons despite the injuries, but it would not be a stretch to say he could have been a Pro Bowler in all six seasons if the Chargers’ coaching staff pre-Brandon Staley handled injuries better.
Bosa, unfortunately, draws a lot of penalties. During the 2021 season, Bosa committed 10 penalties, with eight of them being accepted. This is the breakdown of those penalties: (5) Roughing the Passers, (3) Defensive Offsides, (1) Unsportsmanlike Conduct, and (1) Neutral Zone Infraction. Altogether, Bosa’s accepted penalties tallied up to 81 penalty yards for the opposing teams. Bosa accounts for 8.62% of the Chargers’ total penalties, which is one of the highest percentages in the NFL. Bosa needs to cut down on these penalties, particularly in the Roughing the Passer category, because penalties can be a deciding factor in a game.
Bosa is, simply put, an elite pass rusher. As the first of the three elite edge rushers to come out of Ohio State, Bosa does a great job as being the face for this trio, which includes his brother, Nick Bosa with the San Francisco 49ers, and Chase Young, with the Washington Commanders. Under Anthony Lynn, Bosa suffered injury after injury. New head coach Brandon Staley is much more cautious with injuries, though, so Bosa will be able to stay healthy, while missing maybe 1 or 2 games for a season. All in all, Chargers fans should be excited to see Bosa at full health again in 2022. This was the Joey Bosa player profile.