No. 5: Fred Warner is the best player on the SF 49ers defense, including injured players
Is this a hot take? I feel like this could be sort of a hot take on my part.
There’s not a single SF 49ers fan who has anything but amazing things to say about linebacker Fred Warner. He’s a draft steal who has become a sideline-to-sideline defender and a team leader in the locker room.
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In my eyes, he is the best player on this defense.
No, not EDGE Nick Bosa. He’s the best pass-rusher but not the best defender overall.
No, not cornerback Richard Sherman. He’s a crafty vet who demands respect from all players, but even he has to admit Warner has come to take his place as the leader of this defense.
Against the Rams, Warner was busting up several plays with tireless running and coverage. The Rams struggled to get any momentum going on offense in no small part due to the efforts of Warner.
This isn’t a rare thing for Warner, but it’s hard to find many games where it was as pronounced as this.
Am I ready to start calling him the next Patrick Willis? No, I’m not.
But I will admit, I am close to saying it. Very, very close.
It goes without saying, but Warner could very well be the defensive player that is the difference between a busted season and still potentially making the playoffs.