Nick Bosa entered his rookie season with enormous expectations after being the second pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and exceeded what was envisioned. Bosa was flat-out sensational in Year 1, being the main driving force on one of the league's best defensive units.
His efforts coming off the edge resulted in nine sacks, 45 pressures, 25 quarterback hits and 47 tackles through 16 regular-season games. The former Ohio State Buckeye put the league on notice during Year 1 and was recognized by taking home the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year honor.
With just one season under his belt, there are many reasons to assume he will only get better.
In high-leverage situations, Bosa elevated his game. In the three playoff games, he tallied four sacks, five quarterback hits and 15 tackles, showing an innate ability to raise his level of play on the biggest stage.
Without a doubt, Bosa was brilliant in 2019. But he was less brilliant when his counterpart, Dee Ford, came off the field. Ford's lingering hamstring injury caused him to be placed on a pitch count more often than not last season.
In the seven games that Ford was held under 30 snaps because of his health status, Bosa only accumulated two sacks. His other 11 sacks came in games that Ford saw a bigger role.
Now with DeForest Buckner gone, Bosa may find himself in a similar situation as last season when Ford was sidelined. Without Buckner anchoring the middle of the defense, and with Ford's durability still somewhat in question, Bosa is most certainly going to be the center of attention along the defensive line.
Another area for improvement is his ability to close the gap in divisional matchups. Bosa did not collect a sack in any of the six divisional games in 2020. Not to say he was a non-factor in those contests, because he was heavily involved, but closing in on opposing quarterbacks in highly-prioritized games is something he must do in 2020 to improve.
This offseason, Bosa has been training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his brother, Joey —the Los Angeles Chargers’ star pass rusher.
With an offseason full of working out, and not having to fly across the country for private visits like Bosa had to do last year leading up to the NFL Draft, he could be in line for an even better 2020 season as he focuses on the specifics of perfecting his craft.