49ers roster: Plan on Fred Warner staying at elite level in 2022

Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Fred Warner, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Why Fred Warner improves for 49ers in 2022

Some may have argued Fred Warner actually regressed a bit last year in contrast to his All-Pro 2020 campaign, and Pro Football Focus’ data suggests so:

  • 2020 overall grade: 88.6
  • 2021 overall grade: 75.2

Granted, PFF data isn’t the end-all, be-all some associate it to be, and the fact Warner recorded two interceptions two years ago compared to none last year probably impacts that a bit anyway.

Warner did allow opposing quarterbacks a passer rating of 111.6 with 49 completions on 62 targets last season, however, which marked a career-worst for him in that regard.

In light of the many changes San Francisco underwent at cornerback during the offseason, though, one could see how some of the pass-coverage pressure will be taken off Warner’s shoulders this season. Especially if the 49ers receive exceptional play from newly acquired cornerback Charvarius Ward, who should allow Warner to worry more about the middle of the field rather than the perimeter, which he had to assist with last year amid all of the 49ers’ cornerbacking issues.

All told, though, this isn’t exactly a major concern. Warner is still towards the very top of coverage linebackers anyway, and his prowess for stopping the run has shown significant improvement year after year.

It’ll be hard to fall from that.