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The Dallas Cowboys have two players not only in consideration for Rookie of the Year honors in quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliot, both players are also in the running for league MVP honors. If you’re interested in placing some bets on the action this weekend, click here for latest NFL lines.
Despite leading the Cowboys to a league best 9-1 record, some believe Prescott and Elliot aren’t the best rookies in the league this year. Joey Bosa, the San Diego Chargers first round pick and third overall pick in the draft, is considered to be a better rookie than both Elliot and Prescott.
According to Pro Football Focus grades, on a scale of 0-100, Prescott grades out at 83.9, which is 11th best in the league. His running back Elliot, who has led the league in rushing for most of the year, grades out at 86.8.
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Bosa, who missed the first four games of the season because of a holdout, grades out at 89.8, which is just shy of the 90 threshold that is reserved for elite players. According to PFF, Bosa is slightly behind Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and Khalil Mack as the best edge rusher in the NFL.
On paper, Bosa’s stats (22 tackles 4.5 sacks) don’t come close to that of Prescott or Elliot, but PFF has a system that accounts for other variables than statistics. The organization uses a statistic called pass-rush productivity, which measures how often defensive players produce pass rush on a per-snap basis.
Using this stat, Bosa applies pressure on quarterbacks at a very impressive rate. Among all edge rushers, Bosa is ranked fifth with a score of 14.6, thanks to his 39 total pressures. According to the stats, Bosa gets pressure to the quarterback once every five snaps, which is quite a feat, and one of the best rates you will see.
It also helps that Bosa is not a one-dimensional player that can make an impact wherever he is lined up.
The fact that the NFL is a pass happy league makes the edge rusher position the second most important position on the field, giving more weight to Bosa’s importance on a team that was 1-3 without him in the lineup.
With Bosa in the lineup, the Chargers are 4-3 and have been a better defensive unit with the rookie out on the field.
What makes Bosa’s performance on the field more surprising to some is the fact that he was projected to be a bust by a lot of NFL insiders when he decided to hold out for a better contract. Due to his inability to practice with the team while holding out, the experts felt he was going to have a long learning curve.
However, despite not participating in offseason workouts, Bosa has been making an impact on the team since he was inserted in the lineup.
Due to the fact that both Prescott and Elliot play for the Cowboys, a lot of people won’t want to accept the fact that the PFF numbers show Bosa has been the better rookie. However, if he keeps playing like he has this season, it will be difficult to ignore just how good he is.
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