Nick Bosa: 3 bold predictions for 49ers EDGE in 2021
By Timmy Gibson
No. 1: Nick Bosa will lead the NFL in sacks
Nick Bosa is an edge rusher. Call him whatever you want, defensive end, the newfangled term EDGE, his No. 1 job on the field is to get to the quarterback.
And he is good at it.
In 2020, he finished the regular season with nine sacks, 13 if you include playoffs. This was not at the top of the list, but it was nowhere near the bottom. For reference, the leader of the 2020 regular season was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J Watt with 15.
So, for Bosa to lead the NFL in sacks, he needs somewhere around seven to 10 more sacks to have a legitimate chance. Although that seems like a lot, it is a fairly reasonable prediction, and hey, this is a bold predictions article, so who even cares if it’s reasonable.
Why do Bosa’s sacks increase? Well, for starters, players tend to get better after their rookie seasons. Even the best rookies tend to have an adjustment period into the NFL, and although players come out of college more NFL ready than ever, there is generally a step forward in their play come their second year.
Bosa came out hot in his one full 2020 game, finishing with three sacks. However, that is a clearly unsustainable pace as it would more than double the current official NFL record of Michael Strahan’s 22.5 in 2001, if sustained for a full season.
For all you kids out there, Michael Strahan played in the NFL before hosting morning shows, and he was quite good at it.
Bosa certainly seemed to come out strong in his second season, and it is quite possible he continues this improvement in 2021. Of course, people will say Bosa is coming off of a torn ACL as a reason to not expect this improvement.
To these doubters, I point them no further than to the recent words of the 49ers’ left tackle Trent Williams. Williams, arguably the best player in the NFL at his position, stated in a recent interview that Bosa has been better this year than when they faced off in training camp last year.
So, the person who may be more qualified than anyone else in the world to evaluate defensive end talent, says Bosa is better this season than he was before his injury. It would then seem a step forward is well within the realm of possibility.
And if that step forward occurs, why can’t Bosa lead the NFL in sacks? After all, he may have a better counterpart to help him than he did his rookie year, as Dee Ford is healthy this season after missing a large portion of the 2020 season.