After a strong three-year career at Ohio State, Joey Bosa believes he has all the tools to be the highest-regarded player entering the Draft.
Confidence and comfortability seem to be the defining traits of defensive lineman Joey Bosa, the standout from Ohio State who scouts, via ESPN.com, rank as the top prospect in this year's draft.
You could see that first hand when Bosa greeted the group of reporters at his NFL Combine press conference with a "What's up?" and then proceeded to claim what some already have penciled in to be true.
"I do believe I'm the best player in the draft," he said. "There's, of course, 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 player if you don't believe that then there's kind of something wrong."
He finished his junior season with 51 tackles, five sacks and an interception in 12 games, part of a three year career with the Buckeyes that saw him acquire 13.5 sacks in his sophomore year, which included a National Championship.
"As a team, all those losses, all the haters, all the doubt, I think, really brought us together as a team, helped us mature our relationships as well as football players," Bosa said of facing adversity in Columbus, Ohio. "So, thanks for hating on us. It really helped us in the long run."
One of the only real knocks on Bosa, besides some off-field issues that warranted the team suspending him for the season opener, is that he hasn't had experience playing in a 3-4 defensive scheme, something a growing majority of NFL teams have switched to recently.
But for a top prospect such as Bosa, he's already been preparing for the learning curve he's likely to face after being drafted.
"I can see myself playing anywhere on the defensive line," Bosa said. "I've been working standing up and working on my linebacker drops, so I definitely feel I'm ready to play in a 3-4 or a 4-3…* *I knew that I might have to come in and do LB drills as well, so I just wanted to be fully prepared."
At 6-foot-5, 269 pounds, Bosa said he's been training twice a day, six days a week, but says he's able to put on extra 5 to 10 pounds if needed. His father, who was taken 16th overall by the Dolphins, played just three seasons at defensive tackle in the NFL but has helped Joey through this process.
"He's kind of just let me do my own thing," Bosa said. "I've got great people around me. He's surrounded me with the best agents, the best trainers, with all thebest people. I really trust him with everything's he's done for me in this process."
As Bosa looks ahead, he said he models his game after Chiefs defensive lineman Tamba Hali, looking to become the destructive pass rusher that came from his defensive line coach Larry Johnson's system at Penn State.
"When I watch him I pretty much see the prototype coach Johnson, exactly what he coaches…I haven't got to work with the martial arts guy that coach Johnson brings in, but just watching Tamba, he's come in and he's worked with us and when you watch his hands and the way he pass rushes, it's exactly what coach Johnson coaches, the way he uses his hands, the way he flips his hips, so I just like watching him."
And it's fair to say that most of the media enjoyed watching Bosa on the podium, who seemed relaxed wearing a backwards cap along with an easy-going, laid-back attitude. When asked if that might be a detractor to some teams, Bosa shrugged.
"I don't know," he said. "It's who I am. It's my personality."