It’s safe to assume a high percentage of draft picks are quite confident in their abilities and will go so far as to tell coaches and scouting personnel that their organization will regret the day they pass over them. Except for every Peyton Manning there’s always some 6th round pick saying people are morons for passing him, only to find themselves out of the league two or three years later.
But boy, when they get it right...it’s awesome. Add San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa to the successful line of confident draft picks.
“When Kliff Kingsbury and I got together to go to see players and have dinners, we went to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and had dinner with Nick Bosa prior to the draft and loved him, obviously. Our highest-graded guy on the board; amazing in every way. The only thing you had to even say was a negative was probably if he got injured in the future, which you couldn’t forecast.
“So we were leaving the dinner, and we’re walking out of Mastro’s in Fort Lauderdale, and I’ll never forget he puts his arm around me, Kliff Kingsbury, both of us in basically a headlock, and he said, ‘I think you guys are probably going to end up taking that little quarterback. And if you do, and if you do, Steve, I will haunt you for the rest of your career.’”
And Colin? We got into the SUV, Kliff and I did to go back to the hotel and I remember we were both looking at each other with wide eyes and saids“Man,” I just said to Kliff. “God, I hope he can’t catch him.” And he really never did.
The little quarterback is none other than Kyler Murray.
Yeah, this probably happened. That said, how much Bosa wanted to go Arizona in reality, is anyone’s call. Leading up to the 2019 draft, there were numerous reports about Bosa’s preference for a 4-3 defense vs a 3-4. Even Bosa said he wanted to play with his hand in the dirt. The Cardinals ran a 3-4 which would have meant Bosa would be dropping into coverage. Perhaps the reports of Bosa not wanting a 3-4 scheme are overblown, maybe Bosa really wanted to head to Arizona. Who knows?
As far as Bosa knowing about Kyler Murray that was the worst kept “secret” of 2019. If you even call it that. It might be more accurate to call it a stupid line by the Cardinals that wound up becoming reality; Kliff Kingsbury was talking about how the decision was made wayyyyy before the draft (though nobody really bought it since who would admit who they would draft first with a division rival at second?)
Ok, now with all that context, back to the warning. This is up there with the likes of Peyton Manning warning the Colts that he’d “Kick their butts for the next 10 years” if he wasn’t taken and Aaron Rodgers’ famous “not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn’t draft me”
Except Bosa didn’t exactly “haunt” Keim. Keim did point out that they managed to have Kyler Murray run away from Bosa, and he’s not incorrect. From what I’ve gathered, in his four years in the NFL, Nick Bosa has managed to sack Kyler Murray once.
You might remember the game where his sack came from as “The Game Where Trey Lance Got His First Start” game. Bosa is Bosa, and he will make his presence known regardless, but he didn’t exactly put Murray on his back when the two teams played, if that’s what you’re thinking.
So, had the Cardinals followed Bosa’s warning and took him, what would have happened? Who knows? The Cardinals had the first pick in the 2019 draft for a reason, and it wasn’t a starting quarterback with a torn ACL + the rest of the roster in and out of the lineup due to injuries.
You know, like the team picking after them. The Cardinals were simply bad, and Bosa wasn’t transforming that. I argued they should either trade back or go offensive line since they had Josh Rosen. Silly me. There is one thing very clear in this parallel dimension that when Bosa’s eventual contract extension rolled around, it’s doubtful they’d have a clause for not playing video games.