Jon Bostic compares to a Great ILB and his name isn't Urlacher

Who needs the next Urlacher when you can start brand new with Patrick Willis Part II.









3 cone


Jon Bostic










Patrick Willis










According to one pre-draft scouting report, :"Willis is an aggressive, physical player who can run and hit with violence. He likes to play downhill. He will stack the point, shed and make a solid tackle. He can play sideline to sideline and play vertically. He is a leader on the field. Willis can cover, but will be challenged by quicker backs if offenses can get him in matchups outside of the box. As a blitzer, he comes with speed and force but is a one-move pass rusher."

(If I would've taken the name Willis out and replaced it with Bostic I don't think anyone would've known the difference.)

Here is a scouting report on Jon Bostic from :


STRENGTHS: Instinctive, physical football player who doesn't back down from a challenge. Reads the action well and is faster to the ball than he might appear on the track. Closes with aggression, bringing his hips and driving through the ball-carrier to flash the ability to make the big hit. Seems to enjoy the physicality of the game, rushing to take on fullbacks and pulling linemen.

Does a nice job of keeping square and taking on blocks aggressively, rarely losing ground. Slides off blocks to make the tackle if the ball-carrier gets close. Good strength for the drag down tackle. Keeps his eyes on the quarterback when dropping into coverage and shows some understanding of route development, slipping into holes to thwart passing opportunities. Good ball skills for the position. Times his blitzes well.

Natural special teams candidate due to his aggression, physicality. Vocal team leader.

WEAKNESSES: While Bostic is quick to take on blockers, he isn't necessarily quick to shed them. Appears to have shorter than ideal arms and will lose sight of the ball when battling with blockers. Appears to possess just adequate sideline-to-sideline speed and may struggle to protect the edge against speedier NFL ballcarriers.

A bit stiff in his upper body and can be eluded in the open field. Relies on his eyes rather than athleticism when in coverage and will likely struggle in this area in the NFL, making him likely a two-down linebacker.

(Now I don't totally agree with this scouting report but my purpose is to get you to see the similarities in the reports given on these two.)


Here is a scouting report I actually found on SB Nation: (The important info from the write up is below)


Linebacker Patrick Willis found his way to Ole Miss from the rural hamlet of Bruceton, Tennessee. Since he toiled in obscurity at a tiny 1A school, he fell through the recruiting cracks a bit and was not a high-profile recruit. As a true freshman in 2003, he introduced himself to Ole Miss fans with a bone-crunching hit while covering the opening kickoff against Alabama. That tackle set the tone for the Rebels, who went on to drub the Tide that day in the most lopsided (and one of the few) Ole Miss victories in the series.

Unfortunately, in the early stages of his career Willis mostly saw special teams action and sat behind less-talented upperclassmen at linebacker. At the time, Ole Miss employed a gimmicky 4-2-5 defense that only used two linebackers. It was a system geared to stop the running game that seemed passable when Eli Manning was setting scoring records every year with the offense, but eventually Eli left and the shortcomings became obvious. The fact that Willis, who was obviously the most talented player on the defense, was not starting in 2004 was one of the reasons behind the departure of head coach David Cutcliffe. Defensive firebrand Ed Orgeron was hired to take his place, and he immediately made it clear that Patrick Willis would be the backbone of the Ole Miss defense. He brought a more conventional 4-3 look and installed Willis in the middle, setting him free to go after the ball. Several hundred tackles later, Willis is a first-round NFL draft pick in waiting.

Willis is a dream story for the reporter looking to work the "plaintive piano music in the background while the reporter lays on the schmaltz about the obstacles the athlete had to overcome" angle. In his case, though, it's actually justified. Willis had an incredibly tough upbringing, and he more or less raised his brothers and sisters while suffering through grinding rural poverty that is hard for most of us to imagine in 2007. He is a throwback to another era.


Patrick Willis makes tackles. That may sound somewhat obvious considering he is a middle linebacker, but Willis makes tackles at a stunning rate. He led the nation in solo tackles in 2005 and finished second in 2006. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and won the Butkus award as the best linebacker in the country. And he did all of this while playing for a team that was regularly overmatched by SEC powers who had future pros up and down the offensive line. If the college production in the toughest conference in the country weren't enough, he also has good measurables. Willis ran a 4.52 at 242 pounds at the combine.

Obviously I'm not a scout or anything, but you don't have to be to have noticed that Willis played at a different speed than most players at the college level. He has a great nose for the ball; I can't count the times he burst through the line and sacked the quarterback or dragged the running back down for a loss. Despite his status as the only star on some pretty bad teams, he never developed a bad attitude or lost his work ethic. He was the unquestioned leader of the team.


Willis did pick up a lot of nagging injuries through his career, which was probably a function of how often he found absorbed contact in games since he was always around the ball. He played a lot of games with a broken hand which necessitated a plaster cast that looked like a club. He also is not as adept at dropping into coverage as he is at hunting down and tackling ballcarriers. However, this may be because his ability to find and make tackles is so advanced that his coverage skills suffer in comparison.

Neither Willis nor Bostic did much their freshmen year so here are their collegiate stats for their last three years.








Pass Defl

Jon Bostic








Patrick Willis








(Don't get caught up on the huge difference in tackles. Bostic wasn't the only star on his defense like Willis was.)

Jon Bostic is no Patrick Willis but if he can be a part 2 we should welcome him to the Bear Family no matter which of the three linebacker positions he ends up lining up at.

Go Bears

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.