Will There be More or Less 49ers Who Earn Yearly Awards in 2020?
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Nick Bosa was the only player from the San Francisco 49ers who earned a yearly award in 2019. Being named the Defensive Rookie of the Year was not a surprise to anyone.
What was a surprise was Kyle Shanahan being snubbed as Coach of the Year. John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens earned that honor and even he acknowledged he wasn't the best recipient for the award.
Nevertheless, we turn the page to 2020 for a brand new season. That means new yearly awards are on the table and, for a team as talented as the 49ers, they should be expected to collect at least one again.
The only question is: will there be more or less 49ers who earn a yearly award in 2020?
There will be more 49ers who earn a yearly award, at least it is more likely than no one on the team earning one. Coach of the Year can still be attained by Shanahan, which I fully expect him to earn. That snubbing was just outrageous, so now that he will have a clear body of work, the voters cannot hate on him for being a "newly" successful head coach.
Defensive Rookie of the Year could be on the table again for the 49ers with Javon Kinlaw. While I do not expect that to happen, mainly because I believe Kinlaw will have a really slow start to the season without any live practice reps from OTAs and preseason, it is still a possibility. Kinlaw could certainly snatch that award away from the likes of Washington's Chase Young or Detroit's Jeff Okudah.
But the most realistic chance the 49ers have of multiple yearly awards in 2020 is if Nick Bosa wins the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Bosa is already regarded as a top-five pass rusher in the league. That type of reputation already puts him in the minds of voters should he go on a rampage this season, which really should be expected. A lot more is going to be demanded of Bosa with DeForest Buckner gone.
The good news to think about is that Bosa, despite a bizarre offseason due to the pandemic, was able to workout heavily. Remember, he was plagued with injuries last offseason that saw him held out of the preseason and all of OTAs. Now that he has a year of experience under his belt and an offseason during which he has done nothing but put in work, the sky is the limit for Bosa in 2020.
Earning the Defensive Player of the Year award is going to be tough with the likes of Aaron Donald, Stephon Gilmore and Chandler Jones out there. But Bosa can certainly standout among the group in 2020 and be the most dominant defensive player this upcoming season.