The 49ers have one of, if not the best linebacker in the game in Fred Warner, and there’s no reason to expect anything different entering 2022.
San Francisco 49ers fans can be thankful for many things, but one of the bigger aspects that should draw thanks is the Niners using a third-round NFL Draft pick back in 2018 on All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.
There isn’t much to be said about Warner, one of the league’s top players at his position, and some would rightfully argue he’s the best at his craft going right now.
Consistently ranking towards the top in NFL tackles each season, and always San Francisco’s leader in that category, the 49ers’ defensive captain looks to continue his masterful career within a defense that might actually be better than what the team fielded a year ago.
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com
Earlier this offseason, Pro Football Focus ranked the Niners’ linebacker corps No. 1 in the entire NFL entering 2022, and Warner was a big reason why:
"It’s hard to overstate Fred Warner‘s effect on the 49ers’ defense in their run to the NFC championship in 2021. Amid replacement-level cornerback and safety play at times, Warner’s gravitas over the middle of the field allowed the team to play a high percentage of zone coverage to protect its outside cornerbacks. His elite run-stopping ability was on display against the Packers in the divisional round, too."
Whether it’s serving as a quick-tackle option at the second level of defense or as a coverage backer to assist the secondary, Warner does a bit of everything.
And after being snubbed from Pro Bowl consideration last year, it’s quite possible and perhaps even expected he’ll jump right back into that conversation in 2022.
Let’s break it down a bit further.