Joey Bosa has set a new personal best on the "NFL's Top 100 List."
The Chargers outside linebacker landed at No. 30 on the list Sunday night, narrowly topping his ranking of 32nd from a year ago.
Coming off another Pro-Bowl year that saw him come away with 10.5 sacks, Bosa has been one of the premier players coming off the edge for awhile.
"The way he moves, the way he rushes, it's hard for offensive tackles to get a beat on him because he never comes with the same move," said Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon.
"He gets to the quarterback in a very efficient way," Judon added. "I'm a football fan but that's one guy I make sure I watch."
But Bosa is more than a regular pass rusher. His technicality to go along with his size and strength has made him a force rushing the passer. While he may sometimes go under the radar in national circles, his game and presence are well known among the players.
"The dude is an absolute problem," said Raiders tight end Darren Waller. "Probably one of the best I've ever seen with his hands. He's wrecking shop out there for sure."
Not only does Bosa go after the quarterback at an elite level, but 2021 saw him get a career-high seven forced fumbles.
"Sacks aren't rewarding unless you go and get the ball these days so it's something that's really on my mind when I'm rushing. Sometimes you don't even see the ball. You just beat the man and you're reaching to that point," said Bosa.
Allen, Herbert among 4 Bolts also recognized
Earlier Sunday, four other Chargers were announced on the list between Nos. 50 to 31.
The Bolts were led by wide receiver Keenan Allen at No. 35, quarterback Justin Herbert at No. 40, safety Derwin James, Jr., at No. 43 and running back Austin Ekeler at No. 46.
Allen, who received his highest ranking yet, is making his 5th appearance on the Top 100 list after coming off another 1,000-yard season. One of the best route runners in the league, Allen has consistently been the leader of the Bolts wide receiver group.
"The best receivers play like a point guard in basketball," said Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. "They change their tempos up, they don't play at full speed at all times. You keep a little gas in the tank to be able to create that burst, create that separation when you need it."
"The most beautiful things about playing receiver, I think Keenan Allen kind of embodies that," Kupp added.
Allen's route running is widely known as one of the best in the league, but his ability to get the ball when the chips are on the line has puts him on another level.
"He's big time in the clutch," said Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu. "Third down, fourth down, in the redzone, two-point conversions. You could probably bet your bottom dollar that he's going to get the ball somehow, some way."
The Chargers player next on the list happened to be the player who throws Allen the ball. Herbert is making his second appearance on the Top 100 list.
Herbert followed up an impressive rookie debut with an even better season in 2021. Herbert was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2021 after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns.
"Luckily I don't have to play against him," Bosa said. "Justin is one of those generational guys."
"I mean no base; he can be hit in the legs and make a throw. He's definitely a special talent," Bosa added.
Despite having the most passing yards and touchdowns through a player's first two seasons, one of Herbert's best characteristics and what makes him stick out is his calmness under pressure.
"Just composure. Justin is so chill under pressure," said Browns defensive end Myles Garrett. "He wasn't deterred by anything we were doing. He just steps up around the pressure.
"You want a quarterback that can not be worried about the rush [and] worry about what's downfield," Garrett added. "He's just so calm and patient and lets things develop."
Often referred to within the team as 'the quarterback of the defense', James checked in at No. 43 on this year's list. Making his first appearance on the list since 2019, James rebounded in 2021 with a Pro Bowl season and finished in the top three for the Comeback Player of the Year award.
"All of us were really happy for him, to see him play a full season," said Mathieu. "He's still one of the best versatile safeties in the league."
James has etched himself one of the best safeties in the league and his versatility on defense allows him to line up just about anywhere. His speed and build allows him to be a force no matter where he's lined up.
"He's a safety that we all admire," Mathieu said. "He has the size, the speed, he can defend the run, defend the pass, blitz. He can do it all. He's a total package guy in a total package body."
"He has true ball skills. He can be an impact defender," Mathieu added.
Ekeler, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the best backs in the league — through the air and on the ground. In his second season as the Chargers No. 1 back, Ekeler had the best year of his career with over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and tied for the league lead of 20 total touchdowns.
"He could lower his shoulder, he can look like he's stopped, or you should've gotten him for a loss," said outside linebacker Matthew Judon. "Just one missed tackle, one broken tackle and then it's 20 yards later, 30 yards later or a touchdown."
Perhaps one of the most underrated features of Ekeler is his build. As elusive as he is, his strength is what separates him and allows him to be in the top 50 of this list.
"He's low to the ground, big legs, he's like a bowling ball," said Mathieu. "I remember I tried to tackle him one time, it's hard to wrap him up.
"I think he's one of those guys that can easily have 2,000 scrimmage yards a season," Mathieu added.
One of the most dynamic running backs in the league, Ekeler will have another major role in the Chargers offense in 2022, and he has the potential to strive once again.
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