“Bosa” has become a household name for NFL fans, casual or hardcore. Joey Bosa was drafted 3rd overall out of Ohio State by the Chargers in 2016. Since then, he has racked up 40 sacks in 51 games and earned 2 Pro Bowl selections. In 2019, his brother Nick burst onto the scene for the San Francisco 49ers after being drafted 2nd overall, also out of THE most arrogant university (Ohio State).
The younger Bosa, known as “Smaller Bear,” earned Defensive Rookie of the Year this past season after recording 9 sacks, one forced fumble, and one interception. However, there has been some outcry over Bosa’s selection as DROY. He was only third among rookie sack leaders, with 9, behind Maxx Crosby (10.5) and Josh Allen (10). Bosa also ranked second in TFLs, with 17, behind Crosby (17).
Bosa’s high draft selection and recognizable last name gave him lots of media attention, but fans questioned if he deserves all the recognition. Bosa receives a lot more new cards in Madden Ultimate Team than Crosby and Allen combined, too. Bosa sold more jerseys than any other rookie and the 49ers receive a lot of attention in themselves. The Niners are certainly covered more than Crosby’s Raiders or Allen’s Jaguars, but the surface stats show that Bosa isn’t even the best rookie.
However, one thing Bosa had that the other rookies did not was a successful team. A player’s impact can’t be entirely measured with individual stats. The 49ers as a team recorded 48 sacks and had 5 defensive touchdowns. Bosa also stepped up big in the playoffs with 4 sacks in 3 games.
In the Divisional round, an absolute demolishing of the Vikings, Bosa had an astounding 41% pass rush win rate. The Niners made it to the Super Bowl, and there is no question that he was a key piece of what some call 2019’s best defense.
While Nick Bosa didn’t post better surface numbers than some other rookies, he undoubtedly made a bigger impact. During the regular season, Bosa recorded 80 total quarterback pressures, significantly the most of any rookie. All the pressure on quarterbacks exerted by Bosa led to lots of team sacks, but Bosa wasn’t credited with such numbers.
No other rookie edge rusher had more than 50 QB pressures. In the Super Bowl, Nick Bosa had 12 pressures on Patrick Mahomes, a number which tied the most of any player this season. Bosa’s individual numbers were solid, but he created more sacks than any other rookie rusher.
In conclusion, Nick Bosa is worth all the hype he gets. Despite being double-teamed on many plays, he finds ways to get to the quarterback and make an impact. The Niners will likely be a playoff team for the next few years, mostly thanks to the defense. The future is bright for the Smaller Bear, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if he has multiple rings and DPOY awards by the end of the 2020s.