49ers roster 2021: Fred Warner more important than ever

Linebacker Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Linebacker Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Fred Warner, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Why Fred Warner stays at All-Pro level with 49ers in 2021

It’s important to note Fred Warner is still just 24 years old, even though it feels he’s been part of the team for a long, long time.

So there’s no concern about any pending age-related decline to his already prolific abilities on the field. And after leading the Niners in tackles over the last three seasons, along with regularly being in the top of NFL tacklers during that span, too, there shouldn’t be any reason to expect a dip in that kind of production.

There are two key reasons to expect Warner to be even more prolific than he was last year. And last year was pretty amazing if we’re being honest.

Read More: 3 differences DeMeco Ryans might employ with 49ers defense

For starters, San Francisco’s defense should be much healthier than it was a year ago. Getting players like EDGE Nick Bosa back should afford Warner the opportunity to play off the ball more, make plays and not have to clean up the proverbial “messes and gaffes” in front of him that were so prevalent a year ago.

On top of that, DeMeco Ryans might employ some more aggressive tendencies, perhaps asking players like Warner to blitz more, increasing his sack totals and making him even more of a well-rounded defender in addition to his run-stopping and pass-coverage skills that have already been on display.

Ryans, a former NFL linebacker, will have to lean on Warner a lot. If Warner thrives in this revised role, there won’t be much of a change in All-Pro status.