The slobbering over Nick Bosa is getting to the point of ridiculousness and, as we know all too well, these ‘guaranteed studs’ at the top of the draft don’t always live up to the billing (paging Solomon Thomas). So instead of blindly fawning all over the surefire HOFer that is Bosa, perhaps we should step back from the echo chamber and see how Bosa stacks up to another great EDGE rusher in this class - Kentucky’s Josh Allen.
1) The best ability = availability
EDGE - ALLEN
This seems like an obvious one but Allen has no injury risk or concern while Bosa sat out all of last season, had some knee issues/concerns in high school, and has a brother who has missed a tooooooooon of time with various ouchies and booboos - maybe he isn’t like his brother and he plays for 12 years without missing a game, but it’s something to at least be concerned about...
EDGE - TIE
I was inclined to give this one to the guy who just had 17 sacks despite dropping into coverage a lot of the time, but Bosa had 4 sacks in 3 games this past season and didn’t get the chance to put up similar numbers.
EDGE - ALLEN
Allen definitely gets the nod here, as he’s an athletic specimen while Bosa is certainly a good athlete, but will never be mistaken for Clowney or Garrett or Mack. Allen has the speed and explosive burst that Bosa just doesn’t possess, however...
EDGE - BOSA
Bosa definitely gets the nod here - he doesn’t rely solely on power, but he does possess more raw strength and while I don’t believe Allen will be bad at holding the edge and stopping the run, Bosa looks like he will be good at it. Allen could most definitely develop more of a power game and bull rush - especially if he moves to EDGe full time - but Bosa is already there.
EDGE - BOSA
Bosa again gets the point here. Similar to the ‘Power’ category, Allen could definitely develop and refine his technique more in the NFL - especially with a full time move to EDGE - but Bosa is already there, which is waaaaay more valuable than projection
6) Off field - legal issues, personality, locker room compatibility, etc
EDGE - ALLEN
Neither has any legal issues or concerns, Allen pulls away here for a couple of reasons. First, let’s address the fact that Bosa probably won’t be the most likeable teammate to a lot of players - from his rabid support for Trump to calling Black Panther the worst movie of all time to calling Beyoncé trash to calling Kaepernick a clown, while I seriously doubt he’s racist, he definitely is a loud and proud conservative that could easily rub guys the wrong way (especially those that support Kap). Second, compare and contrast Bosa sitting out the year when he could have come back to help his team to Allen, who played in his bowl game and then despite probably having more to lose than to gain, accepted a Senior Bowl invite. Now I’m not going to subtract from a person making a smart financial decision that could help set his family up for life, but Allen definitely gets points added here for his willingness to play for his team and not shying away from yet another chance to prove himself at the Senior Bowl.
It’s a heck of a lot closer than you’d think - every category is weighed differently and both seem to have strengths and weaknesses compared to the other.
Final thoughts: a few things have created the legend of Nick Bosa - talking heads and the echo chamber effect, missing his senior season means his game tape didn’t go through the scrutiny that everyone else had to endure, and the tendency to assume natural progression and improvement each year when in reality often guys will plateau or even regress a little. I believe that both will likely be great pros and that the gap between the two - if there is any - is much much smaller than what it is perceived to be right now.