Dre Greenlaw will get a chance to impress in preseason, but the 49ers haven’t spent that high a pick on him that a special talent won’t be considered in 2020.
Bigger question marks, however, are present for the SAM (or strong-side) linebacker role. Northwestern’s Paddy Fisher is not necessarily the perfect fit, but his tireless work ethic, ability and the 49ers’ willingness to move rookies to new positions mean he could be considered, regardless.
Fisher has the instinctive play and attitude, which would remind 49ers fans a lot of Warner. He recorded 113 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four fumbles, three batted passes and an interception for Northwestern last season and looks set to be their defensive star for this year.
While not experienced in man coverage, he does fit what the 49ers want in zone coverage. He plays the run and pass well. In the passing era of the NFL today, linebackers who can defend the pass are always in demand.
Fisher fits what the 49ers demand from their linebackers. If a hole still remains among the starters, Fisher may be the man to plug it.