Ohio State DE Joey Bosa has long been considered a top draft prospect.
While some mock drafts project him going third overall to the Bolts, others wonder if the Chargers would pass on a player who has only played in a 4-3 front.
Speaking to the media at the Combine, Bosa was peppered with questions about whether he is scheme versatile. In particular, can he fit into a 3-4 defense?
"I can see myself playing anywhere on the defensive line," he said. "l've been working standing up and working on my linebacker drops, so I definitely feel I'm ready to play in a 3-4 or a 4-3. Being looked at in the 3-4 defense, I knew that I might have to come in and do linebacker drills as well, so I just wanted to be fully prepared….I guess you can say I'd be more comfortable(in a 4-3) because I've never played in a 3-4. But I can't speak for it because I've never played in a 3-4. I think I'll be comfortable (playing) wherever they see me."
While there is much discussion over him fitting into a 3-4 or 4-3, General Manager Tom Telesco often explains how San Diego runs 3-4 defense in name only. The Chargers run a hybrid scheme, and will always add the most talented player available.
"There are just different schemes to a 3-4," Telesco explained. "We don't get caught up on a 3-4 or 4-3. It is how you align. We're a 3-4 on paper, but we line up a lot like a 4-3 does. That's the way John Pagano's defense runs, and when Wade Phillips was here, that is how he ran it, too."
There is no denying Bosa's talent.
Although he impressed this past season and was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, what he did as a sophomore in 2014 turned heads in a major way. Bosa led Ohio State to a national championship as he paced the Big Ten with 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. As a result, he was a unanimous All-American pick, won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year award and was named a finalist for the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award.
As such, ESPN's Todd McShay and Matt Bowen believe the 6-6, 275-pound phenom would have no problem fitting into the Bolts' system.
"I think there is a lot of ability there," McShay said. "I actually think he's the best overall prospect in this draft…I think he could fit (in San Diego). I really do. Everyone is looking at him and saying he is 270 pounds. But you watch the tape and the guy moves so well. I see someone who can rush off the edge, has really good range on tape and is as good with his hands as I can remember for a defensive lineman coming out of the college level."
"Some people are pegging him as a 4-3 defensive end, (but) I think he can play in a 3-4 system," Bowen added. "He's versatile. That's what you get with a top five pick."