Nick Bosa: 3 bold predictions for 49ers EDGE in 2021

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/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: Nick Bosa will win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award

Next up on the bold predictions for Nick Bosa’s 2021 is that Bosa will be named the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of Year.

Part of the argument for this bold prediction leans on the argument from the first one: Bosa was one of the best defensive players in the NFL his rookie year, and if he takes the leap forward that most NFL players do after their rookie year and that Trent Williams is saying he has, that leap will put him in legitimate contention for the award.

So, if Bosa takes a leap forward and leads the NFL in sacks, is that enough to win him the award?

Well, it depends.

Depends on what? How the rest of the NFL defensive players do. Last season, T.J. Watt led the NFL in sacks, but Los Angeles Rams Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald won the award. In fact, no edge rusher has won the award since Khalil Mack in 2016. Since 2016, it’s basically been the “Aaron Donald award,” and then New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore won in 2019.

Donald is considered the best player in the NFL by many, and a recent segment on The Ringer NFL Show discussed why he may in fact be the best Defensive Tackle of all time.

It will take more than leading the NFL in sacks to dethrone Donald for an award many pencil his name in for annually.

Good thing Bosa is good at more than sacks.

A brief look at some of Bosa’s other defensive statistics from the 2019 regular season shows that he recorded 25 quarterback hits, 32 solo tales, 15 assisted tackles, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and an interception that created one of the best 49ers’ highlights in recent memory.

I will never get over how Bosa just shoves No. 12 out of his way. Amazing.

Applying the same Bosa step forward to stats beyond sacks creates an incredibly strong statistical season for the 49ers star. Sprinkle in the fact that Donald may take a step back as he has a new defensive coordinator, add in that the Niners have the easiest schedule in 2021, per Warren Sharp of Sharp football analysis, and Bosa has a chance to demolish opposing offenses and dethrone Donald in the process.