Oklahoma Sooners

Pro Football Focus Ranks Nik Bonitto As Top Returning Defensive Lineman For 2021

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

We already know that Pro Football Focus thinks incredibly highly of Oklahoma’s returning offense for 2021 but no it appears that they may have high expectations on the defensive side of the ball. On Wednesday PFF released its Top 10 returning defensive linemen for 2021, a list that was topped by Nik Bonitto. 

“Bonitto might be the most underrated player in all of college football. The rush-end led all FBS edge defenders in pass-rush grade (93.6), pass-rush win rate (28%) and pressure rate generated (25.7%) in 2020. Among all Power Five edge defenders we have data on since we began grading college seven years ago, Bonitto ranks in the top five in all three metrics.

Bonitto’s explosiveness and athleticism caused headaches for every offensive tackle he faced, and no lineman succeeded in shutting him down in 2020. His lowest win rate in a single game this past year sat at 17.6% — a pretty solid day for most FBS edge rushers.” – Pro Football Focus

Officially an outside linebacker at Oklahoma, Bonitto totaled 32 tackles (18 solo, 14 assists), with 10.5 tackles for loss (for 56 yards), 8.0 sacks (for 44 yards), two pass breakups and a team-high 10 QB hurries for the Sooners in 2020. 

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