49ers 2021 ‘Who is?’ series: Nick Bosa back better than ever

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /
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Nick Bosa, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

2021 could be the resurgent season that sees 49ers EDGE Nick Bosa bounce back potentially to a Comeback Player of the Year award and more.

After winning the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year award, it wasn’t outlandish to think San Francisco 49ers star EDGE Nick Bosa could contend for the 2020 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, which is usually held annually by Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

But Bosa sure appeared to be on that trajectory.

Except Week 2 of last season happened. Bosa, who already had to overcome an injury reputation from his collegiate days at Ohio State, suffered that now-infamous torn ACL on the road against the New York Jets, and that ominously foreshadowed what turned into one of the league’s worst team-injury seasons over the last 10 years.

Both hope and expectation state Bosa should be back fully healthy and ready to go in time for training camp. And after putting together a quality rookie season, interrupted by a most major setback his sophomore year, the Niners are banking on the 2019 No. 2 overall NFL Draft pick to once again return to a potential level where football circles view him as a top-five player on his side of the ball.

There are reasons to believe this could happen, too. Sure, Bosa’s injury concerns are real, and there are always question marks when a player suffers an ACL tear. But Bosa is once again poised to make the kind of impact San Francisco so desperately needed last season but didn’t have.

Let’s take a look at his forecast for the upcoming 2021 campaign and try to predict his overall impact.