You follow the game, so you already know about Ohio State DE Nick Bosa’s decision to scrap the season and move forward in preparing for the ’19 NFL Draft. The true junior, who has missed the season so far as he’s struggled with a core injury, is expected to be a top-five pick, as was his brother, Joey, in 2016 (1/3, Chargers).
I was curious to know what people in scouting thought about Bosa’s decision, not so much as it specifically affects Bosa, but as it impacts the evaluation process in general. So I reached out to several friends in the business, and asked them this.
Do you think it’s a good thing for scouting (don’t have to wonder if he was healthy this season, gives you a chance to evaluate his backups/more players)? Do you think it’s bad (fewer games to evaluate for Bosa, plus it could ignite a larger trend)? Or does it have very little impact on scouting and player evaluation?
We talked to 13 active scouts to get their feedback. Though you might expect alarmist responses from a generally traditionalist audience, some applauded Bosa’s decision, or at least expressed understanding of why he did it. Here’s what they said:
- “I don’t think it will signal a larger trend, but I could see a few top players in a similar situation possibly doing the same thing in the future. I don’t see players en masse sitting out.”
- “Little impact on scouting. Only thing really is that it may give insight to what he’s going to be like when it comes to contracts down the line.”
- “It’s all a moot point. Apparently he wasn’t going to be healthy enough to play anyway.”
- “Same category as players who decide not to play in bowl games. There will be some chatter as to how this will change the ways scouts view this player: does he compete every (day)? Is he a team player? In the end, it won’t make a difference.”
- “I don’t think it will be a trend any more than how things play out now. It’s all about the advice kids get. I mean, you have (Stanford OH Christian) McCaffery (perceived great kid and team guy) not play in his bowl game vs. the Texas kids who got blown up for leaving their teammates a year ago. I always like to see guys play as much ball in college as possible, but you also have to consider each circumstance on its own. Rodney Anderson at OU is another one this year.”
- “Great question. In reality, it doesn’t really matter if it’s good for scouting. What is important is whether it is good for the player and good for the university. Scouts shouldn’t take it personally. If they want to hold it against him or project out how he’ll handle the business of the game, that’s their prerogative. If they simply note the new situation and carry on, that’s probably a healthy way of handling it, too.”
On the other hand, other NFL evaluators saw negatives associated with Bosa’s decision, and not just because of a perceived disloyalty toward his fellow Buckeyes. We’ve got several takes (seven in all) from other scouts that were a bit less bullish on Bosa’s choice. Check them out in this week’s Friday Wrap. You can register to receive it — just as thousands of NFL insiders from across the business spectrum do each week — right here.
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