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Will This 49er Win Defensive Player of the Year in 2022?

In his fourth season in the NFL, the second overall pick of the 2019 draft, has been a threat that no opposing offensive line wants to face.

Nick Bosa’s First Three Seasons in the NFL

During Nick Bosa’s rookie season, he performed at a level that a defensive end drafted at second overall is expected to. He tallied a total of nine sacks and 45 quarterback pressures. This included a game where he sacked the Panthers’ previous QB, Kyle Allen, a total of three times. Bosa would continue to grow as a threat on the 49ers’ defensive line for the remainder of the season and win the 2019 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

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His second was far more disappointing even though it was not due to his lack of skill. Bosa suffered a season-ending injury after tearing his ACL in Week Two of the 2020 season. It was a hard hit to the 49ers’ defensive line after such a promising rookie season.

In his third season, he had a strong comeback after suffering a bad injury the year before. Nick Bosa recorded a career-high in both sacks (15) and pressures (49). Bosa tallied two sacks in the same game four different times as well. He would finish out the 2021 season with the fourth most sacks in the NFL.

Why This Season is Different For Nick Bosa

Through four weeks of the 2022 season, Nick Bosa has already made a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball. After a tough loss in the NFC Championship game last season, the 49ers’ defense has been looking like they are back for vengeance. Bosa was named a team captain for the first time in his career and his leadership is already being shown.

Statistical wise he has already recorded a monster amount of sacks. He has still not had a game where he has failed to get to the opposing quarterback. Through four games Bosa has six sacks, averaging out to 1.5 sacks per game. If he was to keep this pace, he is on track to beat the single-season sack record by two total sacks.

Not only has he been a menace in bringing the quarterback down, but has also been applying heavy pressure on them as well. Throughout the first four games, Bosa leads the league in pressures at a total of 30. In Week Four he had 14 pressures against Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford. This resulted in a tie for the most quarterback pressures in a single game since 2014.

Most QB pressures so far this season 💪 — PFF (@PFF) October 5, 2022

During the offseason, the 49ers made some moves that improved their overall pass rushing. Additions to the team such as rookie Drake Jackson and veterans Kerry Hyder Jr. and Akeem Spence have improved the team’s defensive line. An improved pass-rushing team results in less blocking attention faced towards Bosa, giving him more opportunities to reach quarterbacks.

49er fans can expect to continue to see a monster season from their star defensive end. This would ultimately leave fans with zero doubt that their second overall pick in the 2019 was executed perfectly.

Who Else But Nick Bosa?

At this point in the season, Bosa leads the league in all main pass-rushing stats. At this point, his main competitors for the 2022 AP Defensive Player of the Year award seem to be Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons and Packers linebacker Rashan Gary. Both those players have had great starts to their 2022 campaign.

But the question remains if Bosa will be able to beat them out for the honor of the award. He has become an opponent that no offensive line or quarterback wants to face. If he maintains the production we have seen already this season, those opposing competitors would have to have a monster season as we have never seen before.

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