SAN DIEGO (AP) — Joey Bosa says he’s “a chill guy,” so it’s perfect that he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers with the third pick overall in the NFL draft Thursday night.
At the combine, the Ohio State defensive end was asked about being laid back.
“I think I am laid back,” he said during a conference call with San Diego media after being picked by the Bolts. “I think it’s something that helps me. And now I get to go out to San Diego, probably the most laid back place in the country.
“I’m a chill guy and I think I play better when I’m relaxed and out there having fun. There’s no switch I have to turn on or off to become this person I’m not. When I’m out on the field I’m a football player. That’s who I am and I go out there every day and I play football. I think the more calm, the more relaxed I stay during the course of the game, the better I actually play.”
His game, though, is “not laid back. I just try to be the best possible player I can be.”
Many people had expected the Chargers to take either a left tackle or to pick Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Bosa said he met with the Chargers at the combine.
“Other than that, this is honestly a huge surprise to me, an amazing surprise,” said Bosa, who left Ohio State after his junior season. “Big shock, but I’m very excited to get out there. Very happy. I’ve heard only great things about the city of San Diego. Excited to get out there.”
Whether he plays end or outside linebacker, Bosa is expected to bring a force that’s been lacking from the Chargers’ defense.
“I think I can fit wherever they want me. I can play linebacker in 4-3, 3-4. They’re actually very similar. You’re in base 70 percent of the time. It really doesn’t make much of a difference. My versatility I think is something that this team liked. They’re going to find the best spot for me to help the team win.”
General manager Tom Telesco said Bosa has been the team’s top target since September.
“In the end it wasn’t that hard of a decision for us. Sure we have a lot of areas we need to add to, but we think Joey, what he can bring to our defense, he has that football temperament, the passion, he’s all football, all the time. That’s contagious on your football team. He loves to play.”
Bosa’s father, John, was a first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1987 out of Boston College. He played three seasons in the NFL.
Bosa’s career ended on a down note when he was ejected in the first quarter in the Fiesta Bowl for targeting Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer.
The Chargers are coming off a 4-12 season in which they went winless in the AFC West. After spending most of last year in a failed effort to move to the Los Angeles area, they’re trying to get a citizens’ initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot to help fund a new stadium.
With the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles taking quarterbacks, the Chargers had their pick of the highest-rated players.
“I said, ‘We’ll never pick here again,’” coach Mike McCoy said. “It’s a great opportunity, I think this is an opportunity you have to take advantage of. We don’t want to be in this position again but I think we did an outstanding job.”