The pick was expected, but that doesn’t take the excitement out of the 49ers’ first selection in the 2019 draft.
Former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was chosen second overall by San Francisco on Thursday evening, becoming the fourth member of his family to be drafted in the first round — and the highest pick, one spot ahead of where his brother Joey Bosa went in 2016.
Bosa is a dominant pass rusher who’s basically been a can’t-miss prospect since he finished high school. Despite missing most of the 2018 season with a core muscle injury, his draft stock remained extremely high. That comes as no surprise.
According to his draft combine assessment, Bosa’s elite ability stems primarily from his strength and power. He can overpower and overwhelm offensive linemen, his athleticism allows him to turn corners hard and utilize his closing speed.
Production was always apparent in his three years in college.
He recorded 29 tackles and five sacks as a freshman, 34 tackles and eight-and-a-half sacks as a sophomore, and then 14 tackles, four sacks and a fumble returned for a touchdown in just three games as a junior. Had he played his entire third season he was expected to produce one of the best defensive seasons in Ohio State history.
Bosa doesn’t look like he has many worrisome flaws. His combine assessment focused mostly on his stiffness when rushing and sluggishness when engaging with offensive linemen and attempting to make tackles. However, these are areas where progress can be made — far from red flags.
Choosing Nick Bosa was the easiest choice the 49ers have had in a while. And his addition is just the latest piece of reinforcement for a revamped defensive line that looks like it could one of the best in the NFL in 2019.
Gabriel Agurcia is SFBay’s San Francisco 49ers beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @Gabe_Agurcia on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of 49ers football.