Why Joey Bosa is Not the Next JJ Watt

Updated: March 1, 2016

Ever since the conclusion of the 2016 draft combine I’ve seen a disturbing tenet scroll across my twitter timeline time and time again. All across ESPN, the draft community, and message boards I see the same thing: Joey Bosa is the next JJ Watt.

Not so fast my friends.

Now I understand how easy this comparison is to make. It’s the classic “race & position” comparison. It’s how everyone white under 6′ that can catch automatically becomes Wes Welker. It’s how everyone black that can run is Michael Vick. It’s the most primitive way to compare these guys and quite frankly needs to stop.


Not to say there isn’t a reason at all to make the comparison.

Bosa and Watt do share some similarities:

  • Both played in the Big 10.
  • Both play defensive end.
  • They share a similar physique at 6’5.
  • Both are in the top of their defensive draft class.

The only problem? JJ is an elite talent. There are serious doubts as to if Bosa has the potential to become one.

“But you have Bosa #1 in your current mock draft!”

I do. I didn’t say he was trash, I just pointed out that he’s not elite. The difference between Bosa and Watt is simple. Watt is a once in a generation athlete. Bosa is a very good defensive end who will be a solid pro.

One is going into the Hall of Fame undoubtedly, the other will make a few Pro Bowls here and there.

One goes in the first round of an ALL TIME NFL draft, the other is Joey Bosa.

So why am I not sold on Bosa’s “Watt-like” ability?

Because I have no evidence that back that theory up. JJ Watt crashes lines, routinely ruins plays that aren’t even ran to his side and requires a tackle and a tight end to chip him just to keep him in check so you can run your plays as designed. Bosa relies more on endurance and over the course of a game tires out his assigned blocker then starts to get to the passer.

If you dig deeper in the numbers you’ll actually see this. JJ Watt is a defensive end who is one of the best PASS DEFENDERS in the league. Since 2013 he’s defended seven, ten, and eight passes respectively (and 16 in 2012!) Bosa had just six in the Big 10 during that time. That simply is an ability Bosa does not have in his arsenal.

Another thing these “guru’s” forgot to do was check the weight column. Notice ESPN failed to include that stat so YA BOY got you: JJ Watt is 29 pounds heavier and a slightly better athlete by the combine numbers.

And finally, did anyone bring up character? JJ Watt is the type of guy that people just like. There was never anything crazy about him in college and there has been no dirt so far in a five year NFL career.

jj watt charity

Meanwhile Bosa was suspended by OSU for ummmm…. something… this season and recently went on a Kanye style twitter rant that he quickly deleted:

bosa twitter rant

bosa twitter

bosa tweets

It seems to me that we have a clear cut difference between the two men. If you ask me the correct “white guy to white guy” comparison would have been comparing Joey Bosa to…


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