49ers 2021 ‘Who is?’ series: Nick Bosa back better than ever
By Peter Panacy
Nick Bosa’s projected impact with 49ers this season
We have to assume Nick Bosa is almost ready to hit that next stride of what’s looking to be a perennial Pro Bowl-type career already. Heck, even at 80 percent, Bosa is still one of the 49ers’ best defensive players, perhaps second only to linebacker Fred Warner in terms of overall importance.
The likelihood, especially early in the year, is the Niners putting a bit of a snap count on Bosa, perhaps giving him approximately 35 to 50 percent of defensive snaps, depending on how much the knee is bothering him. San Francisco’s restocking of the defensive line depth could make for Bosa primarily being a third-down pass-rusher, not frequently seeing the field on run-stopping formations.
More from Niner Noise
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
- Updated 49ers salary cap space ahead of 2023 NFL Draft
It’s not a bad approach to take either. Considering Bosa still has another two years on his rookie contract, plus a third if the 49ers pick up his fifth-year option, keeping the EDGE fresh and healthy without risking further injury to his reconstructed ACL would be important.
As such, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Bosa’s tackle numbers down in 2021 a bit from the impressive 47 he had his rookie year, yet it also wouldn’t be a shock to see Bosa’s sack numbers jump into the double digits.
Especially if his fellow D-line mates wind up shouldering an important portion of the load, thereby freeing up Bosa for some more beneficial one-on-one pass-rushing situations.
One thing is clear, though: The Niners need Bosa back in a bad way and are an entirely different defense with him in the fray.
And if Bosa responds with an upward-trajectory year in return, 2021 could be awfully special.