CBS Sports recently released their annual “Top 25 under 25” list, which had one San Francisco 49er. The rankings were based on what each player has done so far, future projections, and positional value. So it’s no surprise to see Nick Bosa on the list judging by how well he played during 2019, playing arguably the second most important position in football, and already being in the conversation for Defensive Player the of the Year. The question was how high Bosa would appear on the list.
Here is Bosa, coming in at No. 13:
Heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, some argued that the Cardinals should just give Josh Rosen another year as their starting quarterback and take Nick Bosa with the first-overall pick. While the Cardinals’ decision to draft Murray was entirely justified given his presence on this list after only one season, Bosa’s dominant rookie season with the 49ers, who took him at No. 2, also demonstrates why so many pundits thought he was worthy of the top pick. Like his brother before him, Bosa immediately emerged as a premier edge rusher with nine sacks, 16 tackles for loss, and 25 quarterback hits. In the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs, he racked up 12 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, which was tied for the most pressures in a single playoff game since 2006. In three playoff games, he recorded four sacks. Per PFF, he was the third-highest graded edge rusher in 2019, trailing only T.J. Watt and Calais Campbell, neither of whom are eligible for this list. Don’t be surprised when Bosa ranks in the top 10 a year from now.
The other edge rushers above Nick were Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa at six and five, respectively. The list is based on positional value, but a linebacker, running back, and three safeties are ahead of Bosa. I’m not arguing if Bosa is better than Jamal Adams, but I’ll take a top edge rusher over a safety without hesitation.
On Saturday, we discussed Bosa being one of the most disruptive players in the NFL. We’ve established Bosa is already great. The first two players that “just missed the cut” were Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner. The other receivers that were on the top 25 were A.J. Brown, Courtland Sutton, and Chris Godwin. Darius Leonard from the Colts was the lone linebacker to make the list. You could make arguments for Warner and Samuel, but they both “burst onto the scene” in 2019, and Brown had five more touchdowns and went over 1,000 yards during his rookie year.