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.
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.