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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Two 49ers players listed among Next Gen Stats’ top disruptors of 2022

Jun 7, 2023 at 9:02 AM--

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Nick Bosa was a monster in 2022. He'll probably be a monster again in 2023. The San Francisco 49ers pass rusher is the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year after leading the NFL with 18.5 sacks and frustrating so many opposing quarterbacks.

It's no surprise to see Bosa on Next Gen Stats' list of the top 10 disruptors of 2022. The defensive end comes in at No. 2 in the ranking, with only Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys ahead of him. After such an impressive campaign, why isn't Bosa listed in the top spot?

"Well, it was a narrow miss," writer Nick Shook admits. "Bosa's totals are right up there with the top player on this list, but as I stated in the introduction, turnovers caused by pressure were the differentiator. That's it."

While Bosa bested Parsons in nearly every other Next Gen Stats measurable, including pressures, hurries, and sacks, the latter produced five turnovers caused by pressure compared to the former's three.

"Bosa had a fantastic season, the best of his impressive career," added Shook. "Two years after suffering a torn ACL in a Week 2 game against the Jets, Bosa was back and better than ever, building on a Pro Bowl campaign that saw him record 15.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss (in 2021). He's an elite edge rusher who is undoubtedly deserving of a massive new deal.

"Entering a contract year, he'll aim to continue to produce at the premier level that saw him earn the top defensive honor. And judging by what we've seen from him, there's no reason to believe he won't do just that."

One more 49ers defensive lineman made the list. Javon Hargrave came in at No. 7. San Francisco signed the defensive tackle away from the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency, bolstering a unit that already included Bosa and Arik Armstead.

"While [DT Fletcher] Cox temporarily struggled, Hargrave was nothing but productive, racking up 18.5 sacks and totaling 111 QB pressures during the last two seasons," wrote Shook. "His 2021 numbers were good enough to earn him a Pro Bowl nod (and a ninth-place spot on this list), but he was arguably better in 2022, besting his hurries, sacks and turnovers caused by pressure totals. His pressures and pressure rate declined a bit, but Hargrave's most consequential numbers were improved as part of an Eagles defense that flirted with history and included another player on this list (Haason Reddick).

"It makes sense that San Francisco didn't blink at handing him a four-year, $84 million deal at 30 years old this offseason. He proved he can be counted on to disrupt opposing offenses every week, especially when he shares the field with quality teammates."

Hargrave's presence will make things easier on Bosa, who could be poised for an even more impressive season thanks to the addition. The 49ers defensive end is very excited to have Hargrave on his side now.

"With all the talent we have on our team, to add a guy who's the top free agent ... to get the top guy, and a guy that I feel like people give him his due, but people don't really know how good he is overall," Bosa told reporters on Tuesday. "... I feel like he isn't quite talked about in the Aaron Donald, top-echelon, Chris Jones [type players], but I think he played like that last year, and throughout his career. Him and Arik inside should be pretty fun."


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