Joey Bosa: "It's Going to Be Up to Tennessee"



INDIANAPOLIS — **"What's up?"

Those were the first two words out of Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa's mouth as he stepped up to the podium on Friday here at the NFL Combine.

Come late April, he hopes it's his draft stock.

"I do believe I am the best player in the draft,'' Bosa told reporters. "Of course, there's a lot of amazing players in the draft and it's going to be up to Tennessee to make that decision. But I think as a top player, if you don't believe that, then there's something wrong."

The Titans, of course, have the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Wearing a backward baseball cap, Bosa delivered a flurry of one-liners in front of a big crowd of reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium. He seemed very comfortable.

"I never really see myself as a Joe,'' he said with a smile when asked about his first name. "I see myself as a Joey. Maybe once I'm like 50, I'll be Joe. Old man Joe."

"I miss the media. I haven't been out in front of you guys in a while,'' Bosa said, smiling, of his comfort level in front of the cameras. "I mean, after meeting with a bunch of NFL coaches, you guys are nothing."

But can he be comfortable playing in a 3-4 defensive scheme in the NFL?

That's the big question for the Titans.

The 6-6, 269-pound Bosa has drawn comparisons to players like Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt because of his ability to line up from different spots.

Bosa had 26 sacks, 148 tackles and five forced fumbles in three seasons at Ohio State, including 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles on Ohio State's national championship team in 2014.

Bosa played defensive end in a 4-3 defensive scheme while at Ohio State, but said he could play anywhere. The Titans, of course, run a 3-4 defensive scheme under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

"I can see myself playing anywhere on the defensive line,'' Bosa said. "I have been working standing up, I have been working on my linebacker drops. So I definitely feel like I am ready to play in a 3-4 or a 4-3.

"I guess you could say I'd be more comfortable (in a 4-3) because I have never played a 3-4. But I really can't speak for it because I have never played a 3-4. But I think I'll be comfortable standing up or wherever they see me."

NFL Network analyst Albert Breer, who went to Ohio State, watched Bosa plenty during his collegiate career. He said he's more than capable of playing in a 3-4.

"I think Bosa could play in any system,'' Breer said. "They stood him up some at Ohio State. The questions with (the Titans) would become: "In a 3-4, do you have him cut a little bit of weight and stand up? Or do you have him put on a little weight and play down? I think those are fair questions to ask.

"It might take him a little bit more work to put him in a 3-4 than it would to put him down in a 4-3. I think he's worth the 1. He's a good player. Now, if you're looking for Von Miller in this year's draft, or if you're looking for Khalil Mack, you're going to be disappointed. But I think he's capable of being a really good player for a long, long time."

Thinking back to when he first arrived at Ohio State, Bosa said being in a position to be the first overall pick is "mind blowing."

But now he feels he's ready.

"I think I bring the best pass rusher, the best defensive lineman in the country,'' Bosa said. "I am obviously coming to whatever team drafts me to help them win, and help them eventually make it to the Super Bowl."

Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and GM Jon Robinson make media rounds at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. (Photos: Gary Glenn, Dwight Spradlin)


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