Brian Baldinger says 49ers’ Fred Warner was the best rookie he saw in Week 1

Sep 13, 2018 at 11:40 AM--

As he does every week, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger has been taking a look at the players from Week 1 who he views as the most impressive and posting his analysis on Twitter. He honed in on one San Francisco 49ers defensive player from Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings — rookie linebacker Fred Warner.

Warner was credited with 12 combined tackles, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble while playing in every defensive snap for the 49ers on Sunday. Baldinger wasn't just impressed with the rookie linebacker but called out his performance against the Vikings as the best by a rookie during the NFL's opening week.

"The best rookie I saw in Week 1 in the NFL wasn't named Saquon (referring to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley), and it wasn't named Sam (referring to New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold)," said Baldinger. "His name is Fred — as in Fred Warner — the new MIKE linebacker of the San Francisco 49ers.

"The guy had nine tackles at the half, including this one (see embedded video) on Dalvin Cook. Angles, recognition, you name it. Even when Reuben Foster comes back, this is the 49ers' MIKE linebacker. Reuben Foster will play the WILL.

"[Warner] just finds the hole the way the (running) back is looking for the hole. And when he got to the ball carrier, the ball carrier did not get through any of his tackles. And it was the same thing in the passing game."

Baldinger breaks down a tackle Warner made on Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell in the open field along with several other plays against the run and pass. Warner looks like he can do it all.

"Fred Warner was the best rookie I saw in the NFL," Baldinger continued. "I'm open to other suggestions, but that man played one hell of a football game. The 49ers got themselves a middle linebacker."

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