The consensus 2016 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Bosa led the Chargers and all NFL rookies in 2016 with 10.5 sacks. His total tied for 13th in the League among all players and his sack total was the most by a NFL rookie since 2011.
Bosa became the first Chargers rookie since Shawne Merriman in 2005 (10.0) and just the fifth in team history (since 1982) to record 10 or more sacks. The others include Chris Mims (1992), Burt Grossman (1989) and Leslie O’Neal (1986). Bosa’s 10.5 sacks were second among that group to O’Neal’s 12.5.
Bosa finished the 2016 season with at least a halfsack in each of the team’s last six games, the longest stretch by a Chargers’ player since Marcellus Wiley had sacks in seven straight to open the 2001 season.
Bosa’s rookie season is all the more impressive considering he played in only the team’s final 12 games. A contract impasse caused him to miss all of training camp, and his eventual debut was then slowed by a hamstring injury. Bosa made his long-awaited NFL debut Oct. 9 at Oakland and right away showed the Leauge what was about to come. Bosa logged two sacks that day against the Raiders and became just the fifth player since 2002 to collect two sacks in his NFL debut.
Two weeks after the Raiders game, Bosa delivered another two-sack performance during a road, overtime win over the eventual NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons. In doing so, he became the first NFL player since Denver’s Elvis Dumervil (2006) and the first Charger since sacks became official stat in 1982 to log two two-sack performances in his first three NFL games.
Bosa reaped a heap of awards in 2016 beside defensive rookie of the year honors. His debut performance against Oakland kickstarted a month that led to his selection as NFL defensive rookie of the month for October. He repeated that feat in December and became the first player since Dwight Freeney in 2002 to earn multiple defensive rookie of the month awards. Bosa also was named Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week after his two-sack performance against the Falcons. And when the season ended, more awards poured in. Bosa was voted the Chargers’ co-Lineman of the Year, he was named a fourth-alternate to the Pro Bowl, and he was selected to a host of all-rookie teams.
Bosa was the Chargers’ first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was the third overall selection. Bosa played three college seasons at Ohio State where he was as a two-time Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, a two-time first-team All-America and a 2014 National Champion.
Bosa is a second-generation NFL player. His father, John, was a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1987 after playing collegiately at Boston College. His uncle, Eric Kumerow, was a four-year letterman as a linebacker at Ohio State and a team captain as a senior. Kumerow also was selected in the NFL Draft by the Dolphins, going a year after John Bosa in 1988 and coincidentally he too went at pick No. 16. The Bosas are the fifth father-son duo to be first-round picks in the NFL in the last 10 years.
Several other members of the Bosa family played football in college and the NFL. Joey’s grandfather, Palmer Pyle Jr., played on the offensive line at Michigan State before being drafted by the Baltimore Colts. He played six years in Baltimore. Pyle’s brother, Mike, played nine seasons at center with the Chicago Bears. Joey’s cousin, Jake Kumerow, played collegiately at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater before spending the 2015 season on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad. And Joey’s brother, Nick, was an ESPN Freshman All-America at Ohio State in 2016.
Outside of football, one of Bosa’s favorite hobbies is cooking. The product of an Italian family, Bosa learned to cook from his mom, Cheryl, coincidentally another Ohio State grad. His mom’s favorites include veal osso buco with risotto and skirt steak with Chimichurri sauce and tortellini. In San Diego, Bosa has relied on The Food Network and a local food delivery service to expand his repertoire
TRANSACTION HISTORY: First-round pick by Chargers (3rd overall), April 28, 2016.
2017: Selected to his first Pro Bowl, but did not participate and was replaced by Los Angeles Chargers DE Melvin Ingram…Named All-AFC by the Professional Football Writers of America…Started all 16 contests at DE...Led the team with 99 tackles (61 solo), including 17.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks...Totaled the most sacks (19.0) in a player’s first 20 career games since the sack became an official statistic in 1982, passing Aldon Smith (18.5)…Brought his career total to 23 sacks, moving past Shawn Lee, Marcellus Wiley and DT Corey Liuget for sole possession of 12th in team annals…His 12.5 sacks ranked second in the AFC and No. 7 in the NFL in 2017…Posted four games with a strip-sack, including back-to-back weeks (five and six)…Part of a defensive unit that ranked tied for fifth in the NFL with 43 sacks…Combined with Ingram (10.5 sacks), was the No. 2 sack duo in the NFL with 23 sacks between the two of them…Awards: Pro Bowl Selection (First)…Professional Football Writers of America All-AFC...at Denver (Sept. 11): Started at DE and posted six tackles (three solo), registering 1.5 tackles for loss on 1.5 sacks...The 1.5 sacks tied with DE Melvin Ingram for a game high...It marked his seventh-consecutive game with at least a half-sack...Brought down QB Trevor Siemian in the first quarter for his first sack of the season after powering past T Menelik Watson...In the fourth quarter, split a sack of Siemian with Ingram to force third-and-13...Appeared on 57 defensive plays...vs. Miami (Sept. 17): Appeared on 51 defensive snaps after opening the game at DE...Registered six tackles (five solo) and a tackle for loss...Saw his streak of seven games with at least a half-sack come to an end...vs. Kansas City (Sept. 24): Posted a season-high nine tackles (four solo), including a six-yard sack of QB Alex Smith on third-and-seven...Got past G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif with a swim move to get to Smith, who was forced up in the pocket by OLB Nigel Harris...Started at DE, playing 43 snaps on defense...vs. Philadelphia (Oct. 1): Made the 15th start of his career...Saw action on 63 defensive plays and one on special teams...Registered seven tackles (three solo)…at New York Giants (Oct. 8): Tied a career high with two sacks, including a strip-sack of QB Eli Manning for his first forced fumble of the season…Pushed back T Bobby Hart and G John Jerry to collapse the pocket before swatting the football out of Manning’s hand to force the fumble…Totaled eight tackles (six solo), two sacks, three tackles for loss and the forced fumble while appearing on 59 defensive snaps…at Oakland (Oct. 15): Registered his second strip-sack in as many weeks, powering past T Marshall Newhouse on third-and-11 to knock the ball out of the hands of QB Derek Carr...Brought his season total to 5.5 sacks and marked the 16th sack of his career…Finished with five tackles (three solo), a sack, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble…Started at DE and saw action on 51 plays on defense…vs. Denver (Oct. 22): Surpassed 90 career tackles and 18.0 career sacks, totaling five tackles (two solo), two sacks, two tackles for loss and a pass defensed…The two sacks matched a career high…On the first sack, beat a cut-block from T Garrett Bolles to spin QB Trevor Siemian down from behind for a one-yard loss…Later in the third quarter, beat T Allen Barbre around the edge to deflect Siemian’s throw, nearly resulting in an INT…Posted his second sack of the day after speeding past Barbre for a five-yard loss in the fourth quarter…Started at DE and played 50 snaps on defense…at New England (Oct. 29): Started at DE and played 72 snaps on defense and one on special teams, marking the 20th game played of his career…Totaled five tackles (four solo) two tackles for loss and a sack…The sack marked No. 19 of his career, passing Aldon Smith (18.5) for the most in a player’s first 20 games played since the sack became an official statistic in 1982…On the play, powered past T Marcus Cannon to spin QB Tom Brady down for a nine-yard loss…In the fourth quarter, forced Brady to roll to his right before DT Darius Philon registered a seven-yard sack…at Jacksonville (Nov. 12): Made the 20th start of his career, opening the game at DE…Posted six tackles (five solo), a six-yard sack, a tackle for loss and a pass defensed…The sack marked No. 20 for his career, moving him into sole possession of 16th on the Chargers all-time sacks list…In the third quarter, applied pressure with DE Melvin Ingram on QB Blake Bortles before corralling him for the sack…Later on, forced Bortles to throw under duress off of his back foot on third down resulting in an INT by S Tre Boston…vs. Buffalo (Nov. 19): Posted a strip-sack of QB Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter that was recovered by DE Melvin Ingram for a 39-yard TD…Pulled a swim-move on T Jordan Mills to reach Taylor for the strip-sack on fourth-and-four, marking his sixth straight game with a sack…The sack brought his season total to 10.5, matching the output of his rookie season in 2016…It marked the 21st sack of his career, moving into a tie for 15th in team annals with DT Corey Liuget...Applied pressure or had a QB hit on each of the INTs thrown by QB Nathan Peterman in the first half…Provided a block for ILB Korey Toomer on his 59-yard pick-six in the first quarter…Started at DE and played 40 snaps on defense….at Dallas (Nov. 23): Played 42 defensive snaps after opening the game a DE…Finished with six tackles (four solo)…Saw his six-game sack streak come to an end…In the first quarter, collapsed the pocket with DE Melvin Ingram to force QB Dak Prescott to step up into a sack by DT Corey Liuget…Ran a stunt with Liuget in the third quarter to chase Prescott out of the pocket and force him to throw the ball out of bounds…Coupled with Ingram, forced Prescott to roll to his left and throw a pass intended for WR Cole Beasley that was picked off by CB Desmond King and returned 90 yards for a TD…vs. Cleveland (Dec. 3): Started at DE and played 57 snaps on defense…Registered seven solo tackles, including three tackles for loss and a five-yard sack in the fourth quarter when he forced a fumble…Registered a strip-sack in the fourth quarter, chasing down QB DeShone Kizer as he scrambled to his left to force the fumble that was recovered by ILB Denzel Perryman…vs. Washington (Dec. 10): Posted four tackles (two solo) on 36 defensive plays after opening the game at DE…at Kansas City (Dec. 16): Started at DE for the 25th time in his career and played 58 snaps on defense…Registered seven tackles (four solo)…at New York Jets (Dec. 24): Posted seven tackles (four solo) on 60 defensive snaps after starting at DE…Applied pressure with DT Darius Philon and DE Isaac Rochell late in the second quarter to collapse the pocket as Rochell recorded his first career sack…vs. Oakland (Dec. 31): Started at DE, playing 44 defensive snaps and finishing with nine tackles (four solo), a sack, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery…Powered through a double-team by T David Sharpe and G Kelechi Osemele to bring down QB Derek Carr for a six-yard sack…Recovered a Carr fumble forced by DT Darius Philon on fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter.
2016: Pro Bowl fourth-alternate...Chargers co-Lineman of Year...Associated Press, ESPN, PFWA, ProFootballTalk.com, Sports Illustrated and Mel Kiper Defensive Rookie of Year... PFWA, Pro Football Journal and Mel Kiper firstteam All-Rookie...did not see action Week 1 while on roster-exempt list...inactive Weeks 2-4...NFL Defensive Rookie of Month (October)...two sacks in NFL debut Oct. 9 at Oakland...became only fifth player since 2002 with two sacks in NFL debut...12- yard sack late in first half and four-yard sack on 2nd-and-9 during late fourth-quarter three-andout...paced defensive line with five tackles and led team with three tackles for loss and five pressures vs. Raiders...first NFL start and tied for team high with four quarterback pressures in 21-13 win vs. Denver Oct. 13...Pepsi NFL Rookie of Week after two huge sacks on back-to-back drives in late third and early fourth quarter of 33-30 win at Atlanta Oct. 23... seven-yard sack on last play of third quarter on third down to force punt and three-yard sack on second down of next series to help force FGA early in fourth quarter...became first NFL player since Denver’s Elvis Dumervil (2006) and first Charger since sacks became official stat in 1982 to log two two-sack performances in his first three NFL games...tied for team lead with three pressures and led team with three QB hits vs. Falcons...led team with four QB hits Oct. 30 at Denver while tying for team lead with four pressures...late in second quarter, forced fumble at end of nine-yard sack by Melvin Ingram...Tenny Palepoi recovered to prevent potential score on 3rd-and-6 at Chargers’ seven...late in game, helped force field goal try with two-yard TFL on 2nd-and-goal play after Broncos had reached Bolts’ two...capped three-andout on opening series of game Nov. 6 vs. Tennessee with 3rd-down QB hit and pass defensed vs. Marcus Mariota...fourth quarter Nov. 13 vs. Miami drew hold on 3rd-and-18 to negate 41-yard completion...Bolts instead forced Dolphins three-and-out and scored TD for 24-21 lead on ensuing possession...season-high six tackles, four for loss, shared seven-yard sack, seven pressures and three quarterback hits Nov. 27 in 21-13 win at Houston...one of his pressures came on play that resulted in a Casey Hayward interception...game was tied 7-7 at time and Bolts scored TD on ensuing possession for 14-7 lead they would not relinquish...late in fourth quarter with Bolts up 21-10, had huge tackle, tripping up Brock Osweiler from behind with open field in front of him on 3rd-and-10 play, holding him to one-yard gain...Bosa was kicked in face by Osweiler’s heel while making tackle...Texans went for it on 4th-and-9 and didn’t convert, turning ball back to Chargers on downs...NFL Defensive Rookie of Month (December)...first player since Dwight Freeney (2002) to earn multiple defensive rookie of month awards...12-yard sack helped contribute to missed field goal in second quarter Dec. 4 vs. Tampa Bay...seven-yard sack Dec. 11 at Carolina, but suffered neck injury on play and did not return...six-yard sack on 2nd-and-10 to help force second-quarter three-and-out Dec. 18 vs. Oakland... third sack of season vs. Derek Carr...logged two sacks and led team with seven pressures and three quarterback hits Dec. 24 at Cleveland...also tallied two tackles for loss...11-yard sack on final play of first half and four-yard sack that contributed to three-and-out early in third quarter...team’s lone sack Jan. 1 vs. Kansas City to finish season as team leader with 10.5... became fifth Chargers rookie and first since 2005 to record double-digit sacks...led team with four tackles for loss vs. Chiefs...two tackles for loss and two-yard sack on 3rd-and-14 during five-play sequence of game-opening field goal drive.
COLLEGE: First-team All-America by SportsIllustrated.com, ESPN.com, Walter Camp, AFCA and CBS Sports as junior...also first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of Year...Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of Year and Defensive Lineman of Year as sophomore in 2014 as well as unanimous All-America selection...Big Ten and Athlon Magazine Defensive Player of Week after 2014 win over Penn State...2013 Freshman All-America by Sporting News and College Football News and honorable mention All-Big Ten...Big Ten Freshman of Week after two sacks and fumble recovery in end zone for touchdown on last play of 40-30 win over Northwestern.
PERSONAL: Born in Miami, Florida...All-America, two-time Associated Press first-team all-state and two-time state champion at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.