Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Aldon Smith and Nick Bosa—Tale of the Tape

 By John Turney 
Aldon Smith (L) and Nick Bosa (R)

There has been a very good Twitter debate this week comparing Aldon Smith and Nick Bosa with, as you can guess, some dissension.

Here is a small sample—

Here are the numbers—

We include pressures from Pro Football Focus (PFF) and Football Outsiders (FO) as well as the 49ers coaches for Smith,

For Bosa, it's PFF, FO, Sports Radar, and the 49ers.

Of course, as per usual, the numbers for those categories don't agree, but player-to-player you can make some surmise about the number of times they are affecting a quarterback's game.

Here are the NFL Combine numbers for Smith—
40 Yard Dash: 4.74 seconds
40 Yard (MPH): 17.26 (MPH)
20 Yard Split: 2.70 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.66 seconds
Bench Press: 20 reps (225 lb)
Vertical Leap: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 118 inches
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.50 seconds
Three Cone: 7.19 seconds

and for Bosa—
40 Yard Dash: 4.79 seconds
40 Yard (MPH): 17.08 (MPH)
20 Yard Split: 2.76 seconds
10 Yard Split: 1.62 seconds
Bench Press: 29 reps (225 lb)
Vertical Leap: 33.5 inches
Broad Jump: 116 inches
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.14 seconds
Three Cone: 7.10 seconds

Also keep in mind back when Smith was with the 49ers they used a lot of base 3-4, less nickel, meaning Smith was a 30 OLBer in base and a 40 nickel right end. Bosa is a 40 end—playing DE in both base and nickel. While both are edge players, there are differences in base, and in 2011-12 the 49erswere in base enough for that to matter.


Bosa is better versus the run. Smith more of a physical freak in terms of wiry strength is likely a hair better than Bosa in the pass rush physically but Bosa is the far better technician. 

However, the Twitter debaters do point out that Aldon Smith had Justin "Cowboy" Smith next to him and yes, that DOES make a difference, favoring Aldon Smith. He'd grab people to free Smith. 

As a rookie, though Bosa had DeForest Buckner and he was a big help to Bosa but he left in 2020 for the Colts. 

We'd take Bosa based on the tape we've seen. Final answer. 


  1. Bosa and that team want a SB ring badly ...

    They could still keep Jimmy G but I think will try to go for Brady unless Tom holds a grudge, which is understandable. If Jimmy leaves and Brady stays retired, the only QBs to keep Rodgers from winning it all with the Packers --when he comes back-- are Stafford, Murray, Prescott and maybe Wilson, though Seattle's defense is suspect. Off-season intrigue ...

  2. I meant winning possibly the NFC, not necessarily the SB.