No.5: 49ers Linebacker Fred Warner
Linebacker Fred Warner will enter his third season in 2020, and as it stands the sky is the limit for him. The 49ers selected Warner in the 2018 NFL Draft in the third round (70th overall), and he made an immediate impact in his rookie season.
In his rookie season, Warner was in the top 15 in the league in total tackles with 124. He followed his rookie season up with an equally productive 2019.
Although he finished the 2019 season with 118 total tackles, less than his 2018 total, the feat is actually more impressive because he attained the total alongside a more talented linebacking corps.
The additions of free-agent linebacker Kwon Alexander who came over from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw should’ve spelled a decrease in production for Warner from the previous season. But he maintained similar numbers, tackle-wise, and actually had four more solo tackles with 89.
Not to mention, he had more sacks, passes defended, forced fumbles and interceptions in his sophomore season. To top that off he is one of the few players who can say they’ve intercepted a pass from phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes, in the Super Bowl no less.
In a recent ESPN article ranking the top 10 linebackers entering the 2020 NFL season, it was no surprise to see Warner’s name amongst the rest. He rounded the list off at the No. 10 spot.
It is noteworthy to mention Warner edged out the Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith to make the list due to high praise from general managers and coordinators around the league.
If coordinators who coached against Warner are singing his praises for his abilities, it would be no surprise to see him earn a Pro Bowl selection in 2020.