49ers

NFL Draft 2019: 49ers pick Nick Bosa at No. 2 to bolster pass rush

NFL Draft 2019: 49ers pick Nick Bosa at No. 2 to bolster pass rush

The 49ers got their guy.

With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, San Francisco selected Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa.

"It's a new journey," Bosa told ESPN's Suzy Kolber shortly after the 49ers selected him. "I'm so excited to finally be back on a team. Can't wait to get to work. But this is all the work I've put in since I was seven years old and it's finally here."

Bosa will join his new teammates on the field for the 49ers' rookie minicamp May 3 through May 5, and he can't wait to get started.

"I want to get with my team, and I want to kick some butt on the field," Bosa told Kolber. "I'm so excited to go to work."

Here's the full breakdown on Bosa.

Nick Bosa

Position: Defensive end
College: Ohio State
Height: 6-4
Weight: 266
Selection: First round (No. 2 overall)

Scouting report

Bosa has a unique blend of lower-body strength, agility, balance and tenacity. He is a technician who has been studying the game, and, specifically, the art of pass-rushing, from an early age. His dad, John Bosa, and uncle, Eric Kumerow, were first-round draft picks of the Miami Dolphins in back-to-back years. His older brother, Joey, was the No. 3 overall pick of the Chargers in 2016. His measurables compare favorably to his brother. Nick Bosa ran a 4.79 in the 40 and had 29 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press.

“Nick will succeed in any defense he is placed into. He can win on the edge, he can likely win inside when set up to maximize one on one matchups,” said draft expert Josh Norris of Rotoworld and NBC Sports in his evaluation.

Bosa recorded 8.5 sacks as a sophomore and was primed for a big junior year. But he sustained a bilateral core muscle injury in the third game of the season – after recording four sacks up to that point -- and underwent season-ending surgery. He is completely recovered and took part in the full workout at the combine in February.

Projected role

The 49ers entered the offseason with a major need at edge rusher after a season in which Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair managed just 5.5 sacks apiece. The club acquired Dee Ford in a trade with Kansas City, and Marsh was released.

Now, Bosa is added to provide an upgrade on the other side. Bosa will certainly be deployed as a nickel pass rusher from Day 1. He has the strength and leverage to be very good against the run. Bosa could help the 49ers accomplish GM John Lynch’s goal of putting together a “dominant” defensive line.

Bosa becomes the fourth defensive lineman the 49ers have chosen with a first-round pick since 2015, joining Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas.

What they’re saying

"Nick Bosa is a player who we have long coveted and grown in our appreciation probably every time we watch him, it gets better. We're very pleased to have him part of our organization. I think he adds to a very talented group on the defensive line, is something that Kyle and I had as a priority when we got here. Two of the first things we talked about is finding our quarterback and finding the guys to knock him down" -- 49ers GM John Lynch after selection of Bosa.

“I see him as a three-down player. He's got to come in and do it, but he plays the run well. His best strength is rushing the passer, but no he can play all three downs and play in all situations" -- 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

“I’m somebody that loves the game more than anybody. I’m going to come in and I’m going to work every day, every practice trying to find new things to better myself. If you do draft me, then you’ll have somebody who’s going to improve throughout my entire career” – Nick Bosa on what NFL teams should know about him.

“He has a very strong lower body. He’s got great balance, like a wrestler. He can stay on his feet. I think what makes him different” – Larry Johnson, Ohio State defensive line coach.

[RELATED: The Choice -- Football is in Nick Bosa's blood]

“He’s a great teammate. He’s always pushing the younger guys. He’s a very high competitor. Sometimes our coaches had to pull him back because of how hard he goes” – Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin, a two-time team captain.

“I just love them, the culture. It seems like the kind of culture I’d like to be in. It was just a really good visit. It just seems like a family. Every coach that I talked to when they were away from coach (Kyle) Shanahan just talked up how player-friendly he is and how he’s just a regular guy, but when it’s time to go to work, he goes to work. Playing for somebody like that would be really cool” -- Bosa on the time he has spent with the 49ers during the draft process.

Pete Carroll lauds Colin Kaepernick protest, which Seahawks nixed visit for

Pete Carroll lauds Colin Kaepernick protest, which Seahawks nixed visit for

Pete Carroll praised former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's 2016 protest of police brutality against African Americans and institutional racism earlier this week, nearly three years after Carroll's Seattle Seahawks opted not to sign Kaepernick as a free agent and over two after they reportedly postponed a workout because Kaepernick wouldn't commit to no longer kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

"I think that there was a moment in time that a young man captured," Carroll told Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday on The Ringer's "Flying Coach" podcast (via ESPN's Nick Friedell). "He took a stand on something, figuratively took a knee, but he stood up for something he believed in -- and what an extraordinary moment it was that he was willing to take. ... But what happened from the process is it elevated awareness from people that just took everything away from what the statement was all about, and it just got tugged and pulled and ripped apart.

"And the whole mission of what the statement was, such a beautiful ... it's still the statement that we're making right today. We're not protecting our people. We're not looking after one another. We're not making the right choices. We're not following the right process to bring people to justice when actions are taken. So I think it was a big sacrifice in the sense that a young man makes, but those are the courageous moments that some guys take. And we owe a tremendous amount to him for sure."

Kaepernick was a free agent in 2017 following a season in which he kneeled during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games as part of his protest. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers after the team's new regime, led by general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan, told Kaepernick he would be released if he didn't. Kaepernick visited the Seahawks in May, but Seattle opted not to sign him.

“He’s a starter in this league,” Carroll said on June 2 (H/T Andre Vergara). “We have a starter (Russell Wilson), but he is a starter in this league and I can’t imagine somebody won’t give him a chance to play.”

Neither the Seahawks, nor any other team, did that season or in the two that followed. Kaepernick was set to visit with the Seahawks in April 2018, but Seattle didn't bring the QB in for a workout after he didn't reveal whether he would continue to kneel during the national anthem, according to multiple reports that Carroll later said were "blown up." The 32-year-old quarterback sued the NFL for collusion later that year as he remained unsigned, settling it last February.

Carroll said the Seahawks planned to attend Kaepernick's NFL-arranged workout at the Atlanta Falcons' last November, but they were unable to send a scout after Kaepernick moved the location to a high school outside of Atlanta when the NFL barred media access and asked him to sign a waiver Kaepernick's lawyers deemed unusual.

“I’m disappointed. We had planned to be at that workout,” Carroll said on Nov. 19 (H/T Tacoma News Tribune's Gregg Bell). “It got changed around and we couldn’t work with it. Unfortunately, we sent somebody but couldn’t stay with the changes that happened. We missed it."

Kaepernick's protest has received renewed attention following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis police custody last Monday. Fired police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded that he couldn't breathe, and now faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene face charges of aiding and abetting murder.

Floyd's death, occurring within months of two white men shooting and killing 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery during a jog in his Georgia neighborhood and Louisville police's fatal shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home, set off worldwide protests and demonstrations of the same issues Kaepernick highlighted nearly four years ago.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media on Aug. 29, 2016 after sitting during the national anthem before a preseason game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street, and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick, after consulting with Green Beret and former Seahawk Nate Boyer, would ultimately kneel during the anthem.

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals he's part of problem, not solution]

Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters Wednesday on a video conference that it was a question for Carroll if the Seahawks missed an opportunity to advance Kaepernick's message by signing him, but said Kaepernick "could definitely be on our roster for sure."

Carroll, meanwhile, said Tuesday on "Flying Coach" that he thinks he can do more to advance causes of racial equality after seeing protests unfold around the world in the last week.

"We have to go beyond and act and take the action, and it's going to be a challenge for people," Carroll said. "I feel frustrated I'm not doing enough. I'm not on it enough. I can't get active enough to create the change. I think we need to make progress, not just change."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Aaron Rodgers shades Drew Brees, says NFL protests 'NEVER' about flag

Aaron Rodgers shades Drew Brees, says NFL protests 'NEVER' about flag

Hours after New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he considered players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans "disrespecting the flag," a superstar peer not-so-subtly pushed back.

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers shared a picture of him and his teammates locking arms before a 2017 game, writing in an Instagram post on Wednesday that such demonstrations have "NEVER been about an anthem or a flag."

"Not then. Not now," Rodgers wrote. "Listen with an open heart, let’s educate ourselves, and then turn word and thought into action."

Yahoo Finance asked Brees earlier Wednesday if he would support players kneeling in protest during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" this season, as demonstrators around the world protest police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who was unarmed, dying in Minneapolis police custody last Monday. Brees, echoing comments he made four years ago when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first sat then kneeled during the national anthem before games, said he "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country."

Rodgers did not directly mention Brees, but the Saints signal-caller faced widespread rebuke Wednesday.

Star 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman called Brees "beyond lost." Michael Thomas, the Saints' best receiver and Brees' top target, didn't mention Brees by name on Twitter, but it was clear who he was referring to in a pair of tweets.

Malcolm Jenkins, who previously raised a fist during the national anthem, co-founded the Players Coalition in 2017 and signed with the Saints this offseason, said Brees is "part of the problem" with his "hurtful" and "insensitive" comments.

Just eight of the NFL's 32 starting quarterbacks are African American. After Carson Wentz, Ryan Tannehill and 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow spoke up following Floyd's death, Sherman said it was important for white QBs to speak out against police brutality and institutional racism because their voices "carry different weight than the black voices for some people." Just before Brees spoke, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said he would stop "sticking to sports."

[RELATED: Poole writes Brees revealed he's part of problem, not solution]

A day before his comments about the flag, Brees posted a black square on his Instagram page as part of #BlackoutTuesday. The social-media campaign was initially intended for members of the music industry to "disconnect from work and reconnect with our community" but later spread to celebrities, influencers and everyday users intending to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Scores of users initially posted with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, obscuring posts that #BlackoutTuesday participants hoped to elevate.

Brees used the proper hashtag Tuesday, but his understanding of his protesting peers' goals is now in question.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]