Fred Warner NFL Draft 2018: Scouting Report for San Francisco 49ers' Pick

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 28, 2018

BYU linebacker Fred Warner (4) gestures in the second half during an NCAA college football game against Utah Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Provo, Utah. Utah won 19-13. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

POSITIVES

—Excellent height and length to be an effective coverage player down the field.

—Above-average athlete for the position.

—Moveable piece who can play matchups and provide defensive positional flexibility.

—Fires feet to throttle down and burst with efficient steps and good explosiveness.

—Doesn't waste time getting a jump on plays and can make flash stops all over the field.

      

NEGATIVES

—Spatial awareness lapses when in motion and causes inconsistent strike points.

—Long and lengthy player who doesn't look like a traditional inside linebacker from a thickness perspective.

—Arm tackler in space who can overrun clean contact.

—Leverage and gap strength as an interior run defender needs improvement.

       

OVERALL

Fred Warner's length and ability to match up against multiple positions in coverage will make him a highly coveted sub-package player early in his career. The trick will be defining a long-term position or role for Warner that keeps him on the field as an effective player for all three downs. Some of his mechanics have to be cleaned up, but the athletic base is eye-popping as a prospect.

          

GRADE: 5.90 (Round 4)

PRO PLAYER COMPARISON:
Zach Cunningham, Houston Texans

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