No. 3: LB Fred Warner
In the absence of Kwon Alexander, second-year linebacker Fred Warner snagged the opportunity to take over as the leader in the center of the field.
And he took it with great aplomb.
Warner finished the game with nine total tackles, one pass defended, and one forced fumble and at least one other where he got pretty close to causing another:
He was constantly around the ball and showed off good ball skills, both with his punches and in pass coverage.
The former BYU linebacker showed a lot of promise during his rookie year, and was immediately granted the green dot as the defensive play caller. He played fairly well as a rookie, finishing with an overall Pro Foofball Focus grade of 63.9 for his first season.
His play on Sunday was encouraging in that he showed quickness getting to the ball and never appeared to be out of position, something that wasn’t always the case during his 2018 campaign.
With Alexander back next week in Cincinnati, if Warner can continue his high level of play, the 49ers may have one of the strongest set of linebackers in the league.
This would be vital to the continued success of the defense in 2019.