No. 5: EDGE Nick Bosa
Earlier this season, the 49ers’ top pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, EDGE Nick Bosa, was a shoo-in to earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Heck, he was even in the running for a potential Defensive Player of the Year award, too.
But Bosa has seen his production slough off a bit in recent weeks. Sure, Bosa’s seven sacks on the year currently rank second on San Francisco’s defense. Yet after a three-sack performance against the Carolina Panthers back in Week 8, Bosa has been held out of the sack registry over the past three weeks.
Part of it is due to the Niners facing much more elusive quarterbacks, the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray twice, along with likely 2019 NFL MVP, the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.
Granted, Bosa is still impacting the game with pressure. That aspect of his game hasn’t waned. But the 49ers will be facing more mobile quarterbacks still, including the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and fellow MVP candidate, the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, over the next two weeks.
And Wilson is looming again in Week 17.
Bosa’s presence and hopeful impact is magnified, too, thanks to a potential multi-week injury absence from fellow EDGE Dee Ford, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Cardinals in Week 11.