3 bold predictions for Nick Bosa in his rookie season with the 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers selected defensive end Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Bosa is an elite talent as a pass rusher, and comes from NFL stock. His dad, John Bosa, was a first-round selection back in 1987. Of course his brother, Joey Bosa, was a first-round pick by the Los Angeles (then San Diego) Chargers a few seasons ago as well.
All three are defensive ends.
With a great college résumé and fantastic bloodlines, big things are expected from Nick Bosa. What can he do in year one though? Here are three bold predictions for him in 2019.
There’s been some controversy surrounding Bosa and his views lately. However, this is simply about his play on the field – nothing else.
More sacks than Joey Bosa did his rookie year
In his rookie season, Joey Bosa managed 10.5 sacks for the Los Angeles Chargers (again, San Diego at the time). What’s most impressive about that is he missed four games that year (contract dispute).
That means in just 12 games, Bosa racked up 10.5 sacks. However, it also means that Nick Bosa has a four-game head start. He’ll have four extra games to try and pick up more sacks than his brother.
That being said, 10.5 sacks is no small task. Last season only 16 players finished the year with more than that.
With that in mind, this definitely isn’t a “gimme” prediction. It’s something that you’d only tag on someone who has elite rushing ability. In fact, Bosa is one of just three players this draft that I’d even consider putting such a hefty prediction on (Josh Allen and Montez Sweat).
Pro Bowl Appearance
Nick Bosa isn’t at the easiest position to make the Pro-Bowl. There are a lot of defensive ends that are great at getting to the quarterback and causing havoc. 11 defensive ends finished last season with 10.5 sacks (the number I projected Bosa to have more than his rookie year). So even if he puts up big numbers he’ll have competition.
However, Bosa has the ability to do more than just pick up a lot of sacks. He can force turnovers and pick up quite a few tackles for losses.
With Bosa able to do everything, he should be able to stand above the pack. At least enough to find his way into the Pro Bowl.
It should also be noted that player popularity is a major part of Pro Bowl voting. Some fans absolutely vote for the “best” performers at each position. However, other fans just vote for their favorite teams and players.
Bosa is already a household name. He’s also a rookie. If a rookie puts up big numbers, it tends to get more attention than anyone else doing it. Bosa should benefit from this nicely and get some extra fan votes due simply to the fact that he’s talked about more on TV and radio. They hear about him more – so they vote for him. Simple math.
Lead San Francisco in Sacks and Forced Fumbles
I know the first part of this prediction seems close to the first prediction. However, it’s different for a few reasons.
First off, Nick Bosa does have great competition for the sack leader of the San Francisco 49ers. DeForest Buckner poured in 12 sacks last season and could be poised for an even bigger year in 2019.
However, that also works against him. Buckner could be drawing a lot of attention from opposing offenses. He’s draw double-teams, leaving Bosa an easier task.
That means that Buckner could see his sack total go down due to offenses focusing more on him, and also having another elite-level pass rusher on the defense.
Therefore, not only could Bosa steal some of the sacks Buckner could’ve gotten – but he’ll benefit from having him on the other side regardless.
As for the forced fumbles, only Jimmie Ward and James Onwualu had more than one last season. Both had two, and neither exactly play all that much.
With that in mind, Bosa doesn’t have that large of a hill to climb. His fantastic ability to get to the quarterback will give him a great chance of stripping the ball a few times.
Last season, the high was just two – that’s a small hill to climb for Nick Bosa.