Each offseason, all 32 clubs set out to do the same thing - add, subtract, draft and develop players to put together a championship-caliber team. The San Francisco 49ers have been meticulously fine-tuning their roster over the past several seasons and have seen the payoff of their efforts, reaching a Super Bowl and three NFC Championship Games over the last four seasons.
One of the organization's biggest playmakers, defensive lineman Nick Bosa, arrived via the 2019 NFL Draft, and in four seasons has continued to elevate the formidability of the defensive unit year-over-year. In 2022, San Francisco closed out the year as the No. 1 overall defense and led the league in several other statistical categories including interceptions (20), points allowed (277) and points allowed per game (16.3).
As far as individual accolades go, Bosa is amassing quite the collection, most recently taking home the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2022. He also earned First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the 2022 campaign in which he led the league with 18.5 sacks, 51 total tackles (19 tackles for loss), 48 quarterback hits, a pass defended and two forced fumbles.
Additionally, Bosa was named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and this most recent Pro Bowl nod marks the third of his NFL career.
"He's a fantastic football player," 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the close of the 2022 season. "He's a game changer of a football player."
It should come as no surprise the fifth-year pro has been tabbed a non-quarterback "franchise building block" of the 49ers by NFL analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah. The duo took into account two factors, age and position, when highlighting playmakers that their respective organizations should continue to build their rosters around over the next five years. All the athletes identified are under the age of 26 and fall under the umbrella of "PPUs (pass rushers, playmakers and unicorns)" meant to support the efforts of a franchise quarterback.
Bosa landed at No. 2 on NFL Network's list behind Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.
Here's what Brooks had to say about Bosa:
"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."