SF 49ers: 4 players who’ll keep rest of 2020 interesting

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers leaps over Marcus Epps #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers leaps over Marcus Epps #22 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Fred Warner, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The SF 49ers aren’t likely to make the playoffs this season, yet these four players are going to at least make the rest of the year watchable.

Few things have gone right for the SF 49ers this season.

A year removed from nearly pulling off a Super Bowl win, the 4-5 Niners now find themselves looking at a grueling finish to their 2020 campaign, which has already been marked by a swarm of disastrous injuries, underachievement and disappointment.

In previous years, when San Francisco wasn’t particularly a good team, watching the squad on Sundays would feel almost like a chore. Heck, it wouldn’t have been unlike what fans had to endure in Week 9 on Thursday Night Football where an SF 49ers B-team of players, given the group’s plethora of injuries, was thoroughly routed by the visiting Green Bay Packers in prime time.

Unless you were overly excited to watch wide receiver River Cracraft. If so, kudos to you.

But that game proved something of note. As bad as the outcome was, linebacker Fred Warner was flying all over the field even when the game’s outcome was clearly decided. Warner, the Niners’ best defender this year, even earned some lofty praise from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the game.

Deservedly so. Rodgers probably likes watching Warner play, unless the SF 49ers are playing the Packers, of course.

What players are worth watching for the rest of 2020 even if the season gets out of hand? Let’s start with Warner because Rodgers said so.

No. 4: SF 49ers Linebacker Fred Warner

Warner’s watchability is twofold, and it goes far beyond him just being a defensive leader and standout. SF 49ers fans know that already.

Instead, as Rodgers pointed out, it’s how the rest of the NFL will view the third-year pro once this season has come to a conclusion.

“Ain’t nobody better,” Rodgers told Warner after the game. “There really isn’t. You’re the best and everybody knows it. The field don’t lie. You should be All-Pro.”

Warner, the team’s leading tackler the previous two years, was an alternate for the 2019 Pro Bowl but could be pegged as a first- or second-team All-Pro this season. Understandably, Niners fans would be awfully upset if he received neither once the season concludes.

But there’s another reason why Warner is a must-watch player for the rest of 2020.

Still on his rookie contract, Warner can enter negotiations with the SF 49ers for an extension once the 2021 league new year hits. Considering his importance to the defense, it’s possible Warner doesn’t set foot on the field until he receives a new deal.

His high level of play continuing over the remainder of the season is only going to drive that price tag up higher.