49ers film room: Why Fred Warner is already a top 3 linebacker

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Niner Noise analyzes San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Fred Warner and why Warner is already a top three player at his position in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Fred Warner had an exceptional 2019 season, his second in the league since being drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft as a result of the Niners making a 2017 draft-day trade with the Chicago Bears, in which San Francisco gained that 2018 third-round selection used on Warner.

Warner has proven himself to be an indispensable member of the 49ers defense, especially being the “quarterback of the defense,” according to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

Warner’s leadership shone through in 2019, making many checks before plays and keeping the defenses’ standards extremely high, which led to the Niners having the best pass defense in 2019, giving up an average of 169 passing yards per game.

San Francisco was also second in total yards allowed, with 4,509 which emphasizes how good the pass defense was as the 49ers run defense was only 17th in yards allowed, with the opposition averaging 112.6 yards per game.

Not only were the Niners exceptional at limiting their opponents’ yards, but the defense made a huge leap with the number of turnovers created, in particular interceptions, after having one of the worst seasons, turnover-wise, in NFL history in 2018. The 49ers forced 28 fumbles and 12 interceptions. Warner contributed three forced fumbles, one pick-six and another interception in the Super Bowl.

Warner’s consistent and incredible play throughout the 2019 season will make him a prime candidate to be named a captain after the 49ers lost former left tackle, and franchise legend, Joe Staley to retirement and traded away defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts.

Warner sets the standard for San Francisco and will be a cornerstone for the 49ers for many years to come.

Now onto the breakdown of Warner’s best plays from the 2019 season.