We’re eight days away from training camp, so now it’s time for our eighth bold prediction for the San Diego Chargers.
Bold Prediction No. 8: Joey Bosa will win Defensive Rookie of the Year
Yeah, Matt, make a bold prediction for a guy who’s technically not even on the team yet. Real smart, bro.
Anyway.. Joey Bosa has got to sign soon, right? The Chargers need him. You win games in the trenches, and we’ve seen what can happen with porous defensive AND offensive line play.
Bosa, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, was picked for simply two reasons: to stop the run and rush the quarterback. According to Pro Football Focus, the former Buckeye finished as the No. 1 and No. 2 pass rusher in the nation among edge defenders in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and totaled 26 career sacks. He was also the No. 1 run defender among edge defenders in both years.
When he signs, he’ll start at defensive end. He’s still young at just 21 years old, but scouts deemed him NFL-ready.
One of our bold predictions was that Corey Liuget would make the Pro Bowl. One of the reasons why was because he finally got much-needed help with the addition of Bosa and nose tackle Brandon Mebane. This prediction goes hand-in-hand. Having Liuget and Mebane next to Bosa will be huge for him, as he won’t be taking on double teams every snap.
The last Chargers defensive player to win this award was Shawne Merriman back in 2005. Bosa has the potential to make the same impact Merriman made. Even some analysts have compared him to Texans star J.J. Watt.
I’m not going to compare him to Watt. That would just be unfair. But I do feel confident in this young man becoming Defensive Rookie of the Year. For those who will say that he won’t rack up enough sacks to win the award, Jets’ Sheldon Richardson won in 2013, where he only finished with 3.5 sacks. Rams’ Aaron Donald did it in 2014 with less than 10 (nine), too.
So Bosa can still be dominant and make an impact regardless of sack totals–even though the more sacks, the better. If the defensive line goes from one of the worst units to one of the best in the NFL in 2016, Bosa will be a big reason why.
There are a bunch of candidates who will challenge Bosa including safety/corner Jalen Ramsey, who was the No. 5 overall pick in the draft. If Bosa makes the same impact he made in college, then I see the award going to him.