He's someone who can run, cover and blitz. In today's NFL, that's what you want out of a linebacker. —NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, on Fred Warner
ESPN’s Chris Low warned NFL personnel not to overlook former BYU outside linebacker Fred Warner in the lead-up to this year’s NFL draft.
The San Francisco 49ers took a chance on Warner Friday, selecting the 6-foot-3, 236-pound ‘backer in the third round with the 70th overall pick of the 2018 draft in Arlington, Texas.
"He's someone who can run, cover and blitz. In today's NFL, that's what you want out of a linebacker," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during the draft telecast of the 49ers taking Warner.
Low listed Warner among five players who he predicted, based on their college numbers, would outperform where they were drafted.
Warner, a three-year starter for the Cougars, put up an impressive stat line during his time in Provo. He finished his college career with 264 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, seven interceptions, two pick-sixes, five fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. Warner led BYU in tackles his final two seasons there.
“There are more physical linebackers in this draft and guys with bigger reputations for being thumpers, but Warner is super athletic and has the ability to drop into coverage and be equally effective on passing downs, which makes him a commodity,” Low wrote.
NFL combine/Pro Day: Warner ran a 4.64-second 40 during the NFL combine, which was 13th among linebackers, and had 21 reps on the bench press, tied for eighth. His best performances came in the vertical leap (38.5 inches) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.77 seconds), where he was fourth in his position group in those events. He participated in position drills only at BYU’s Pro Day.
Scouting Warner: “Warner is a terrific run-and-chase linebacker who consistently makes positive plays in space. He’s a nickel defender who will be productive during third-down passing situations.” — Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline