FRED WARNER – Round 3; 70th Overall
1,171 total snaps (1,060 defensive snaps)
Warner quickly shaped into a leader on defense as the linebacker assumed play-calling duties in Week 1. San Francisco’s coaching staff were complimentary of the rookie’s immediate command at MIKE linebacker.
“What Fred Warner did for us this year, for him to play in all these games to battle through that as a rookie, that is pretty unheard of,” Shanahan said. “The pressure at MIKE linebacker to just be the leader of the defense and the voice of the defense and to play with the physicality that position takes all year as a rookie and to still show up every Sunday, that’s extremely impressive. If you don’t have that stuff, it’s tough to go in the right direction because we had to turn over a lot of people. In order to do that, you have to have stories like that and we’ve got to have more next year coming too.”
To put his production into perspective, Warner played 98.8 percent of defensive snaps, the most snaps of any member of the 49ers defense. He also led San Francisco’s defense with 124 total tackles (third most of any rookie linebacker) and added six passes defended, two quarterback hits, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.