San Francisco 49ers: 3 bold predictions for 2020 season
By Peter Panacy
No. 2: 49ers’ Nick Bosa Named NFL Defensive Player of the Year
It shouldn’t be too big a shocker 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa was named the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year after his nine-sack campaign in which he showed all the prowess expected from a top-two NFL Draft pick and then some.
But to compete and win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, Bosa will have to go up against a much deeper pool of top-level talent, including the defending champion of this accolade, Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Fortunately, Bosa is already in good company. CBS Sports (h/t Golden Gate Sports) recently listed him as the No. 13 best player under the age of 25 years old.
As far as this prediction, though, is there any basis for predicting Bosa as the league’s best defender, period?
According to NFL Network’s Adam Rank (yes, the same person who predicted the Niners would win three games last year), yes:
"There were high expectations for Bosa coming into the league as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, because his brother Joey Bosa had been so dominant for the Los Angeles Chargers. And then Nick looked even better than Joey, ranking fourth in the league in quarterback pressures as a rookie. If he’s healthy and not the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, I’m going to be shocked."
Rank spent most of 2019 and early 2020 owning his previous mistake. And it sounds like he’s not sleeping on Bosa and the 49ers this season.
Neither are we.