3 burning questions for 49ers linebackers in 2020

Kwon Alexander #56 and Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kwon Alexander #56 and Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Dre Greenlaw, Jacob Hollister, Seahawks, 49ers
Jacob Hollister #48 of the Seattle Seahawks stopped by Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The 49ers field one of the best linebacking trios in the NFL entering 2020, but even this unit comes with notable questions this season.

The San Francisco 49ers essentially learned three things about their linebacker trio in 2019:

  1. Fred Warner is awfully good
  2. Dre Greenlaw exceeded expectations
  3. This group is tremendously deep

The Niners already had an up-and-comer in Warner entering last season. After an excellent rookie campaign in 2018, Warner backed up his efforts last year with a team-leading 118 tackles and seven tackles for a loss, five quarterback hits, three interceptions, three sacks and nine passes broken up.

He might not be in the territory of the former Niners great, Patrick Willis. But Warner is pretty solid, putting it mildly.

Yet arguably the biggest surprise was the rookie, Dre Greenlaw, who helped alleviate the midseason loss of veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander‘s pectoral injury, which was thought to be a season ender. Greenlaw was just behind Warner in tackles with 92, none bigger than the Week 17 game-winning goal-line effort he made against Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister, which secured San Francisco’s hold on both the NFC West and the No. 1 playoff seed in the conference.

Not too shabby for a fifth-round NFL Draft pick many pegged to be little more than a special teams ace.

Heading into 2020, the 49ers can feel comfortable about this group. But like any positional unit heading towards training camp, there are some notable question marks.

So, while the Niners linebackers can be considered a position of strength, let’s look at some key questions the team is facing here as it gears up to make another deep playoff push this upcoming season.