We’re running out of ways to quantify how much of an impact San Francisco 49ers rookie edge rusher Nick Bosa had in 2019. Bosa was among the league leaders in stats that tell you who gets after the pass rusher, but those are volume stats and don’t tell the entire story. For example, Bossa had 18 quarterback hits, which was the fourth-most in the NFL among edge rushers. Za’Darius Smith was second with 22 QB hits. Most people will use these numbers without citing the times each player rushed the passer. Smith had 543 pass rushes while Bosa had 492. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Bosa would have produced four QB hits with an additional 45+ rushes.
Around the NFL, put together a list of the most disruptive pass rushers in the NFL. To qualify, you have to have a minimum of 250 pass rushes. Here is the description of their stats:
We’re focusing on one Next Gen Stat that gives us the best indication of how effective a defender is on a per-pass-rushing-down basis. The stat: Disruption Rate, which is the total number of disruptions (the combined total of hurries, pressures, or sacks, with only one counting per play) divided by the total number of pass-rush snaps.
Where does Bosa rank when you adjust for pass-rush snaps? Fourth. That’s not just among edge rushers, but in the NFL:
Disruption rate: 16.4%. Sack rate: 2.1%. Total disruptions: 71. Sacks: 9.
By now, you know this story. Bosa was the final piece for a defensive line loaded with first-round talent, which helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl selectee and 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year earned his accolades, racking up the fourth-most QB pressures in the NFL (60) while finishing with a pressure percentage of 13.9, which was also good for fourth-best in the league. Bosa is just getting started, and boy, what a way to begin a pro career.
Unless Bosa has another season where he lets 5-6 sacks slip out of his grasp, that sack rate will be over 3%, which will be near the top of the league.
Disruption rate is another piece of the puzzle, but stats still don’t do justice for how truly disruptive Bosa was as a rookie. I used the cover photo against the Saints for a reason. Bosa was all over the field that game. He had two QB hits, a couple of other pressures, but three missed tackles took away from what would have been even more impressive numbers.