Despite being the highest ranked defensive player in the NFL Top 100 following his rookie year, Charlie Casserly believes San Francisco 49ers’ defensive machine Nick Bosa should’ve been in top-10 going into the 2020 season.
The 22-year-old came in at No. 17 in the most recent list, lower than Casserly would have liked. A few NFL Network analysts shared their thoughts on which players were snubbed from the this year’s top-10, and this is what Casserly had to say:
“Let me first say that every player who made the top 10 of this year’s list is excellent. However, I believe Nick Bosa was one of the top 10 players in the league last season. The rookie was the missing link in the 49ers defense, as it didn’t have a big outside rushing presence until his arrival. The addition of Dee Ford helped, but Bosa was the player opponents game-planned against. The Defensive Rookie of the Year, who finished with nine sacks and 25 QB hits last season, jumped on the scene as a disruptive player who had to be double-teamed no matter where he lined up. If he didn’t receive that level of attention from offenses, he took the game over.”
Bosa will be even better during his sophomore season, so his ranking should shoot up again going into 2021. Here is the list of the players ranked ahead of Bosa going into the season:
16. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
15. Chandler Jones, OLB, Arizona Cardinals
14. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
13. Bobby Wagner, MLB, Seattle Seahawks
12. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
11. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
10. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
9. Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots
8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
7. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
6. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
5. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
4. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
3. Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams
2. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
It is criminal that Mahomes isn’t ranked No. 1, but that is a topic for another day.
Considering what Bosa did to Rodgers last season in the two meetings between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers, I would have given him the nod ahead of the QB. Maybe that was just due to how bad Rodgers looked in two blowout losses.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bosa was ranked 12 places higher than Jones among edge defenders in 2019. Brady is being ranked on past performance, considering he was only about average for the New England Patriots last season.
As Casserly mentions, the top 10 is stacked, but I can see Bosa climbing up into the top five after another strong campaign.
How high would you have ranked Bosa on the Top 100 Players list going into the 2020 season?