Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers LB Fred Warner sits at No. 20 on PFF’s 50 best players ranking

Jun 24, 2021 at 5:51 AM--

Pro Football Focus is counting down its list of the 50 best players in the NFL right now and has revealed Nos. 11 through 20. Linebacker Fred Warner comes in at No. 20 within the ranking and is the third San Francisco 49ers player revealed on the list.

The ranking is a projection of the top players for the upcoming season and not simply based on past performance. Also, no single position is viewed as more valuable than another in deciding the ranking order. That means a safety is on equal footing with a quarterback.

San Francisco made Warner a third-round pick out of BYU in 2018. The linebacker has led the team in tackles while starting every game during each of his three NFL seasons. He recorded 125 tackles, five tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hits, a sack, two interceptions, six passes defensed, and a forced fumble in 2020.

"Fred Warner was the No. 1-graded linebacker in the NFL last season and topped the PFF list of the top 25 players under 25 thanks to his elite playmaking ability in coverage," wrote Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson. "Warner played the college 'overhang' linebacker role at BYU, a kind of hybrid linebacker/slot corner, and has been a huge success in translating that experience into conventional NFL defenses, becoming one of the most complete linebackers around and anchoring that 49ers defense."

Warner, 24, has racked up 367 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hits, four sacks, three interceptions, 21 passes defensed, and five forced fumbles in his three NFL seasons. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro nods for his performance this past season. Expect San Francisco to sign their star linebacker to a long-term extension soon.

Warner is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

Other 49ers players who had already appeared within the countdown are offensive tackle Trent Williams at No. 24 and defensive end Nick Bosa at No. 27.

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