The San Francisco 49ers have evolved into position-less football on the offensive side of the ball with those ridiculous personnel groupings and (at-times) unpredictable playcalls. While quarterback play is important, there are so many pieces around the signal caller that it isn’t as crucial as other teams. On the defensive side of the ball, it’s the opposite. There is one player things revolve around and his name is Nick Bosa. The 49ers must keep him and continue to compliment him with pieces around him.
Over at NFL.com, Bucky Brooks named Nick Bosa the No. 2 non-quarterback building block. The only person to beat him was Micah Parsons. This isn’t like last week where we debated if Parsons was a better edge defender than Nick Bosa, this is franchise players the 49ers can build around. And honestly? I think again Bosa is more valuable than Parsons.
The younger brother of Joey Bosa has taken the family business to another level since entering the league as the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The All-Pro pass rusher has notched 43 sacks in 51 career games, including 34 sacks since 2021. As a polished technician with violent hands and a relentless motor, Bosa whips opponents with various maneuvers that keep blockers guessing at the line of scrimmage. Given his consistency and effectiveness as a disruptive defender on edge, the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year is the cornerstone defender that every NFL executive is looking to add to the lineup.
This also isn’t the 49ers getting cute with the salary cap and offloading DeForest Buckner (though, we’ve seen the tragic end of that story). Before Nick Bosa arrived, the 49ers pass rush was abysmal. This in turn trickled out everywhere else with a secondary getting carved and gaps being blown up. Cornerbacks can only cover for so long before things break down and opposing quarterbacks had time in spades against that porous defense.
Once Bosa came into the fold, there was a sense of urgency added to the other side of the ball. Now those “not quite” or “almosts” were because the quarterback was trying to do feats of speed getting the ball out. Failure to get rid of the ball meant you had Nick Bosa in your face, which oftentimes led to mistakes and picks. This of course strengthened the secondary.
There are those quarterbacks who make other players look good. Maybe better than they really are. The same can be said for Nick Bosa, he makes everyone else look good.
My point is, this lethal defensive line the 49ers have starts with Nick Bosa, and it’s going to permeate through the entire group. You’ve seen several cornerbacks and safeties have career years thanks to a powerful defensive line, once they go to a team where the rush isn’t as good, the stats plummet. The 49ers have secondary that and system that capitolizes on fierce, speedy rushes, but it’s all useless if the pass rushers can’t get to the quarterback. Sack or not, efficiency matters. Bosa is the heart and soul of all of this. The differences are night and day. Look at the 49ers before he arrived and also look at them after he tore his ACL. This isn’t just an elite rusher, this is the guy that makes everything on that defense run. Pay him his money.
There’s not a doubt in my mind the 49ers will get a deal done. I’m interested in what the deal is to be honest. It’s going to require moving heaven and earth, but it will be worth it. He’s like a quarterback on other teams, you build around him because he’s that good.
Now if only they could call holding on him more...