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Nick Bosa makes top tier of PFF’s Top 32 edge rankings


When we aren’t talking quarterbacks, we’re going to be talking about the San Francisco 49ers defense as a whole. This unit has potential to be something filthy despite some of the losses in the secondary (Jimmie Ward, Emmanuel Moseley). Filthy because if you have a defensive line that looks as good as the 49ers do on paper the secondary improves exponentially (see 49ers defense under Vic Fangio).

The main driver of that line is going to be edge rusher Nick Bosa. When drafted they said he had potential to be better than his elite defensive lineman brother, Joey Bosa and Nick hasn’t disappointed. Pro Football Focus put together a tier list of edge rankings putting Nick Bosa at No. 3. Only Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett are ahead of him. Here’s what Trevor Sikkema at PFF said about the player:

Bosa won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 2022, as he led the league in pressures (90), finished third in pass rush win percentage (21%), and was stout versus the run (82.6 run defense grade while missing zero tackles as a run defender).

I’m not at all surprised that Bosa is in Tier 1. Outside of that ACL injury his second season, he has been the long-missing piece the 49ers needed when Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers teams started. I am surprised to see him at Number 3. I can go with an argument to put him behind Myles Garrett, but I don’t know if Micah Parsons should be ahead of Nick Bosa. I feel as if they should be flipped.

PFF mentions Parsons is No. 1 on their pass rush productivity metric as well as some ridiculous grades. I think Bosa’s grade is going to go up even further in 2023, simply because of Javon Hargrave. With some of the issues inside the line last year, teams were able to double team Bosa, that won’t be as frequent this year as if you try that with Bosa, Hargrave will smash through an offensive line with ease.

The other thing that could help? I dunno, maybe calling something when he’s grabbed by the facemask and planted like the Raiders game. Or just, you know, calling holding. Parsons has had his own share of egregious officiating, however so I’m not going to hold my breath the NFL actually does something about it or say if Bosa got a bunch of calls it magically improves his stats. I do think it would change if the refs threw some flags in the first half showing the offensive line that crap won’t fly.

Regardless of his No. 3 standing or if he can draw a flag, Bosa is going to make the entire defense more efficient. There’s some new faces in the secondary and some other folks are going to need that line to step up so they can be efficient. The faster the line can get to the QB, sack or not, the easier it is for a mistake to happen and the secondary can capitalize with boneheaded throws.

It’s also a reason why he’s going to get paid ridiculous money whenever this happens. I don’t know how the 49ers will pull this off but I know one thing: when they say they want to keep Bosa around, they mean it. Moving Bosa (a la DeForest Buckner) would have a much more detrimental effect on the team than just weakening the defense on the field, it’d weaken a locker room since that’s two players on the defensive line they’ve dealt when they thought they could get cute with the salary cap. Plus, the fact Hargrave is there has to indicate the 49ers may awknowledge they made a mistake

He’s gonna get paid, folks.