When Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth hangs up his cleats, he'll do so as a potential Hall of Famer. The 15-year NFL veteran is a two-time All-Pro and has been named to the Pro Bowl on four occasions, so he's been one of the top players at his position for a very long time.
As such, Whitworth is as dependable of an evaluator of opposing defensive linemen as there currently exists within the league. He knows firsthand which pass rushers give him and his peers the most trouble, and holds 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa in extremely high regard.
Whitworth recently joined the "Green Light with Chris Long" podcast and singled out Bosa as one of two promising young pass rushers in the NFL, alongside Cleveland Browns sack artist Myles Garrett (h/t Niners Nation).
"I think he’s a special rusher," Whitworth said of Bosa. "I think feeling him as a rookie, he’s one of the most powerful kids I’ve ever felt that young. Really in the run game, pass game, everything. He’s got some serious pop. And so I think there’s youth strength and then there’s like, man, when this guy kind of hits his stride, if he’s that powerful now, wow. He’s gonna be a guy that’s gonna really be able to push the pocket. And obviously plays with an incredible motor and has the big brother to look up to who’s a hell of a player, too."
Bosa's older brother, Joey, is well on his way to a Hall of Fame career, having totaled 47.5 sacks in his first five seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. Whitworth believes Nick is even more powerful than big bro.
"Nick has felt more powerful than what I feel when I feel Joey," Whitworth added. "Got some rare power. I think he’s one that’s gonna be really special, for sure."
After being named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, Bosa missed nearly all of the 2020 season while recovering from a torn ACL. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp next month, and the 49ers are very much looking forward to having him back on the field.
As for Whitworth and other offensive linemen, well, they're probably not nearly as excited about his return.