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49ers 90-in-90: Nick Bosa

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Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is defensive end Nick Bosa.

Words cannot describe how nice it is when all the Nick Bosa drama ended with his drafting. No more speculation. No more “what will the Cardinals do?” Nick Bosa is now a San Francisco 49er. With that signing, the 49ers’ pass rushing unit could be complete. On the edge, we have Bosa and Dee Ford. Inside, it’s DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas. You can also add Arik Armstead in to the several different positions he can play with his superb run-defense and versatility (*wink*). If Thomas can shed his personal issues from that awful 2018 and if Bosa can make it at the professional level, we could be talking about the best defensive line in football during the 2020 season.

Wait. If Bosa can play at the pro level? Yep. Don’t let his brother’s success fool you, it’s now a matter of if the Ohio State star can hang in the NFL, which, as we all know, is a completely different beast than college. We might know in one season, we might know in two or three, it depends on the player. He just needs to get on the field.

And that’s been Bosa’s biggest problem: seeing the field. All abilities aside, he’s had some issues staying healthy the last few years. It’s not like the injuries stayed in the NCAA, the moment he set foot at 49ers OTAs, he injured his hamstring. It’s not a good sign for a guy coming off a separate injury that ended his final season at Ohio State. Right back on the field and he injures his hamstring.

So there’s the big knock. Nick Bosa was seen as the best overall player in the 2019 NFL Draft and a pipedream for the 49ers to get. As time went on, it was obvious the Cardinals didn’t need a defensive end like Bosa. They didn’t exactly need a quarterback either, but it’s a win for the 49ers.

Thank goodness for Kyler Murray.

It’s now just a matter of if Bosa can stick around for a 16-game season and beyond. It’s too soon to draw conclusions, but 49ers fans will be holding their breath quite a bit in 2019, hoping that Bosa doesn’t get on a first-name basis with the group in the medical tent as Reuben Foster did.

As a player, the possibilities are endless. Especially with this defensive line. Bosa may have come into the best defensive situation he could have asked for. The 49ers will depend on him, but they already have a solid front with Buckner and Ford to work with, which lets Bosa have an easier time getting acclimated to the speed of the NFL game.

Hopefully, this is a draft pick that makes an impact the first year.

Basic Info:

Age: 21
Experience: rookie season
Height: 6’ 4
Weight: 266 lbs

Cap Status:

He is yet to sign his rookie deal. The issue stems from offset language as the rookie pay scale is pretty much set.

Why he might improve:

Bosa was one of the more scrutinized 2019 prospects and for good reason, he was projected to be going in the first round by several pundits (thanks Arizona). Everything from his play to his political affiliations has been beaten to death, and it’s doubtful anything said here hasn’t been said before.So, let’s be broad and redundant: the kid can play. If there’s anything Bosa needs to improve on, it’s his balance. One consistent criticism has been minor issues setting up against shifty ball carriers, resulting in giving up the edge.

It’s important to state that this isn’t a red flag, it’s one of those things noticed as a simple weakness. It’s also suggested having him work on coming off of a two-point stance. There are other things Bosa can practice than a two-point stance since his hand will be in the dirt 95 percent of the time, so no need to worry about that.

In a year, we will be able to gauge where his true weaknesses at the NFL lie and then when we do our 90-in-90 for 2020, this will be more detailed. For now, Bosa’s improvement lies in injuries and getting through a whole NFL season. If he can get through a whole season, that’s improvement.

Really, Bosa just needs to stay healthy.

Why he might regress:

If these injuries continue, it’s going to hurt his development. As a rookie there’s an awful lot for Bosa to learn and getting injured early in camp makes it even more of an uphill battle to get acclimated. This recent setback with that hamstring injury could come back and haunt him as the season goes on. There’s just valuable learning and reps he’s missing otherwise.

Hopefully this is it for his injury woes and Bosa can have a long career. Right now it’s nothing to get worked up over, but it is something to nod at and file away for when/if it were to happen again.

Odds of making the roster:

He’s making the roster