No. 3: Linebacker Fred Warner
It wouldn’t be a shock if second-year linebacker Fred Warner makes the Pro Bowl in 2019.
That said, the 49ers need their leading tackler to be even better down the stretch this season.
Warner’s job was made more difficult following the Niners’ loss of fellow backer Kwon Alexander to a season-ending pectoral injury a few weeks ago. The setback forced Warner to move from the MIKE spot over to the weak-side (WILL) linebacker void. This has traditionally been the playmaking linebacker within coordinator Robert Saleh’s defense.
And San Francisco will need some playmaking plays from Warner over these final six games.
Warner will have plenty of responsibility containing the Packers’ now-surging rushing attack, while Lamar Jackson is a player no team has been able to scheme against, effectively, this season.
Handling run-defense duties against Saints running back Alvin Kamara will be difficult, too, and even the Rams are starting to get All-Pro running back Todd Gurley back into the fray as of late.
Needless to say, Warner’s responsibility as a defensive standout is going to have heightened attention these final six weeks.