San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa has impressed this season and should be the odds-on favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
With the 2019 NFL regular season drawing to a close, now is the time to begin considering which players are serious contenders for individual awards. While the speculation around the MVP award will dominate most headlines, San Francisco 49ers fans are particularly invested in the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy.
Let’s examine why Bosa is the obvious 2019 DROY.
Bosa enters the final matchup of the regular season with nine sacks (tied for 20th in the league). He has also contributed a forced fumble and an interception.
While the counting stats are excellent especially for a rookie, there are a number of veteran players in the NFL with more impressive resumes.
However, anyone who has watched San Francisco on a regular basis fully understands just how dominant Bosa has been.
After a slower start to the season, the budding star further established himself as a dominant force as the year progressed. He was selected as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week at the end of October and chosen as the NFC Defensive Player of the Month the following day.
He was also the only contender for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award to be selected to the Pro Bowl roster in their inaugural season.
A deep dive into the advanced stats confirms what Bay Area fans have seen all season. Bosa’s 19 quarterback hurries are tied for the sixth-best mark. His 38 pressures also put him in top-11 in the NFL.
Nick Bosa has a great chance to end the season with double-digit sacks and would easily be selected in the top two picks in a 2018 re-draft.
Josh Allen (Jacksonville Jaguars)
The former Kentucky star currently boasts 29 solo tackles and 10 sacks (tied for 13th best). Allen, who was projected to be a future Pro-Bowl-caliber pass rusher, has fully lived up to expectations.
While Allen also ranks comparably in the advanced stats, the numbers show that he hasn’t been quite as consistently dominant as Bosa. However, the biggest difference between Bosa and Allen is their overall team success.
While the Jaguars enter the final week of the season with a disappointing 6-10 record, Bosa’s 49ers are preparing for a possible Super Bowl run.
Devin Bush Jr. (Pittsburgh Steelers)
While Devin Bush’s counting numbers (61 tackles and one sack) paint him as a fairly pedestrian player, his value to the Steelers cannot be overstated.
The arrival of Bush and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has totally transformed the Pittsburgh defense into a solid unit. The Michigan product has given the team its best linebacker since Ryan Shazier’s devastating injury.
He has also contributed four fumble recoveries during his rookie year.
Maxx Crosby (Oakland Raiders)
Maxx Crosby’s emergence as a dangerous pass rusher is one the most pleasant surprises as the Raiders prepare for their upcoming move to Las Vegas. Crosby’s 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles have helped fill some of the void left when the team decided to part ways with All-Pro Khalil Mack.
In fact, he has been so dominant that he has surpassed fourth overall pick (in 2019) Clelin Ferrell in overall value.
While Bosa and Allen do have similar numbers this season, the former’s overall team success and Pro Bowl selection should give him a decided edge in the polls.
Even considering his family pedigree and high draft selection, one could argue that Nick Bosa has actually exceeded expectations during his first season as a professional football player.
In the long-term, it’s clear that the Ohio State alum is on the path to becoming one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL.
In the short term, he is the clear-cut pick for the 2019 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.