Towering $2.5 Million Rusher Projected to Fill for Nick Bosa: Insider

Nick Bosa

Getty Nick Bosa pressures Baker Mayfield on October 9, 2022.

The San Francisco 49ers are projected to know by Wednesday, October 12 the status of Nick Bosa against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6.

Groin tightness took him out of the Carolina Panthers game early in the second half. It was also the first time this season that the league’s leading pass rusher through the first four games didn’t snatch a sack — and has got Bosa tied with Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys, Matthew Judon of the New England Patriots and Maxx Crosby of the Las Vegas Raiders for the league-lead in sacks.

But in the event Bosa can’t go against the Falcons for the upcoming road contest, who will likely fill-in as his replacement?

The benefit of the 49ers is there are options — including rookie Drake Jackson who was taken to take pressure off Bosa during early down sequences and veteran Kerry Hyder Jr. But one insider pointed to the most likely starting option is a more towering presence and a $2.5 million option.


‘The Standout of the Group’

Matt Barrows of The Athletic answered the hard question of who would step in for Bosa if he can’t line up during Barrows’ Tuesday, October 11 mailbag session.

He went straight to someone who got in nearly 50 defensive plays in the 37-15 romp of the Panthers.

“I think it will be [Charles] Omenihu, who got 46 snaps to Jackson’s 31 on Sunday and who usually gets into games sooner than Jackson,” Barrows answered. “All of the edge rushers’ workloads would increase, of course, if Bosa missed time, and Kerry Hyder would be in the mix as well.”

However, between the trio of the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, the 2022 second rounder plus the veteran who once snatched 8.5 sacks with the 49ers in 2020, Barrows points to the first end option as the best of the three.

“But Omenihu’s been the standout of that group,” Barrows wrote. “His 18 pressures this season are second on the 49ers to Bosa’s 31, per Pro Football Focus, and he seems to improve a bit with every outing.”

Omenihu has already seen his base salary ascend to $2,540,000 this season per Spotrac. But his value on the field has also increased.


Omenihu Already Gives Needed Element to 49ers’ Pass Rush

Here’s where Omenihu’s presence benefits the 49ers the most with or without Bosa: The inside/outside element Omenihu provides.

His size and anchor allows him to pull this off after the ball is snapped: Force duress, which is shown in this clip against Baker Mayfield.

And his relentless hustle led to this sack of the former No. 1 overall pick:

He’s also in the top five among edge rushers in the inside/outside pass rush win rate — joining Bosa on that list.

Finally, the duo of defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and defensive line coach Kris Kocurek has created a specialized package involving Omenihu.

Regardless if Bosa is healthy enough to play or becomes a scratch, Omenihu eliminates the concerns 49er fans may have in this front line having lapses against the pass. And the 49ers will soon lineup against a Falcons front protection unit that’s allowed 12 sacks this season — but five came in the 21-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5.

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