INDIANAPOLIS — Nick Bosa has a full night scheduled for the eve of a full day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Arizona Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and Bosa, the Ohio State star pass rusher, has been regarded as the likely top selection for the past year. But the buzz at the combine is that the Cardinals could just as easily select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.
Would that be a mistake?
“Yeah,” Bosa said wryly. “Big mistake.”
Bosa is scheduled to meet Saturday night with the Cardinals and the 49ers, who hold the No. 2 pick. In fact, he is meeting each of the teams that have the top eight picks in the NFL draft, he said. The New York Jets, Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions hold picks No. 3 through No. 8.
It could come down to Murray versus Bosa for the Cardinals.
“I wouldn’t say anything about Kyler,” Bosa said. “I’d say I’m somebody who loves the game more than anybody. I’m going to come in and I’m going to work every day, every practice to find new ways to better myself.
“So if you do draft me, you’re getting somebody who is going to improve throughout my entire career.”
Murray is likely preferred over incumbent Josh Rosen to run new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury’s system. But Bosa has a connection with the Cardinals, too. Former Ohio State linebackers coach Bill Davis was hired to the Arizona staff in January.
“It’s a dream come true,” Bosa said when asked about the thought of being chosen No. 1 overall. “That would obviously mean so much to me to be thought of as the best player in the draft.”
If Bosa falls in the draft, he would not tumble far, as he would fill the 49ers’ urgent need for an edge rusher. Bosa previously met 49ers general manager John Lynch during an Ohio State practice before this year's Rose Bowl.
Bosa missed most of his final season at Ohio State because of a bilateral core muscle injury, which required surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation. Bosa said he is 100 percent and will perform all of the on-field workout drills at the combine Sunday.
Bosa said he feels confident about his ability to step in and produce in the 49ers’ defensive scheme.
“I think I’d fit in very well,” Bosa said. “They got really good interior guys right now. They just need help on the edge. That’s what they told me. I think I’d be a true defensive end there, hand in the dirt. That’s something I like about them, for sure.”