Nick Bosa had an electric rookie season, there’s no doubt about it. But despite a boost to an 89 overall for Madden 21, the San Francisco 49er sits outside the game’s top-10 pass-rushers.
We’ll likely never hear Bosa’s reaction to his rating or ranking due to his quiet nature on social media as well as the fact that he probably just doesn’t care, but it’s prompts a question: Is Nick Bosa a top-10 pass rusher in the NFL after just one season?
It’s hard to say, but when given the list of the game’s top pass-rushers, it’s worth a discussion:
- DT Aaron Donald – 99 OVR
- LE J.J. Watt -98 OVR
- LOLB Khalil Mack – 97 OVR
- LOLB Von Miller – 97 OVR
- DT Fletcher Cox – 96 OVR
- LE Cameron Jordan – 96 OVR
- LOLB Chandler Jones – 95 OVR
- RE Calais Campbell – 95 OVR
- RE Myles Garrett – 93 OVR
- DT Chris Jones – 92 OVR
Every player on this list of pass-rushers certainly deserves to be in the conversation, but are they all currently better than Bosa?
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Realistic Comparisons and Ranking
First and foremost, the thing that makes rankings and ratings tricky in this scenario is that all these players vary in position and in their responsibilities.
For example, Bosa lines up at the end and is generally just required to beat the tackle and explode into the backfield for a sack, which he did 13 times in 19 total games in 2019.
What’s right and what’s wrong….? pic.twitter.com/8WSu8qVvg4
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 15, 2020
For a player like Baltimore Ravens RE Calais Campbell, who’s had an extremely successful and dominant career, the responsibilities are different. Not only is he a large end expected to assist more in run defense, he’s also used in different situations.
In this scenario, trying to say Bosa is better than a defensive tackle like Chris Jones doesn’t really make sense, but one thing that can be compared is the 49er’s performance compared to other edges.
Bosa totaled more sacks than Watt(4.0), Miller(8.0) and Campbell(6.5) in 2019, that’s just a fact. However, all three veterans’ storied careers means that they get a boost to their ratings, despite the trio hitting their early-to-mid 30s and showing signs of regression.
One fan brings up the valid point about Watt in particular, who’s lowkey 2020 season was drastically outshined by his brother, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt.
How did TJ Watt not make the top 10 pass rushers and his brother still a 98 pic.twitter.com/MFvTpZsIFQ
— Stephen A. Smith Burner (@SASBurnerAcct) July 15, 2020
Disrespect or Just Developers?
While Bosa’s numbers and performance likely warrants the point that he should be in the top-10 pass rushers, from the Madden perspective, this isn’t underplaying or disrespect.
It’s video game development. Madden creators and raters aren’t looking to quickly hype up players only for injury or regression to instantly contradict that decision and make the game feel like it’s a random assortment from one year to the next.
That explains how Bosa is rated as one of NFL’s better edge rushers with an 89 overall, but doesn’t crack the game’s top-10 pass-rushers.
The good news? Bosa’s already proven he can produce and excel at the NFL level. He may not crack into the top-10 ahead of Madden 21, but if he takes another step forward in 2020, it won’t just be a conversation of whether he makes the top-10, but if he’s the best edge-rusher in the league.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.