Ranking 49ers’ Nick Bosa, NFC West’s 4 other top pass-rushers

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: EDGE Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers

2020 Stat Line: 6 tackles, 1 QB hit, 0 sacks

Those making these lists solely based on statistics would argue Nick Bosa has no business being ranked No. 2 on the list of the NFC West’s best pass-rushers entering 2021.

But let’s frame the argument here this way: If you were to start a team and could pick one pass-rushing defensive player to build around, would you choose someone like Chandler Jones, J.J. Watt or Jamal Adams over Bosa?

Probably not. And that alone is a key reason why the 49ers’ premier edge rusher ranks here.

Bosa’s youth works in his favor as far as bouncing back from the devastating ACL tear suffered in Week 2 last season. Same with the fact it occurred relatively early in the year, which should give him extra time to rehabilitate the injury in order to return as close to 100 percent as physically possible in 2021.

On top of that, and much like the Cardinals’ situation, the 49ers defensive line should be better in 2021, too. While Dee Ford’s status amid a 2020 back injury remains very much in doubt, one can safely figure Bosa will benefit from the presence of Arik Armstead and the second-year maturation of defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who flashed some playmaking promise late during his rookie season.

If the 49ers get just a glimpse of Bosa’s sheer prowess from his own rookie year, their pass rush will be in infinitely better shape than it was a year ago.