Earlier this season, teammates began to coin the moniker “All-Pro Fred” for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner. In the 49ers Week 10 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers also attested to the notion, saying Warner’s “film don’t lie.”
At the close of his third NFL season, the defensive standout has rightfully earned the title, being named to the heralded Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team.
Warner is coming off of the best season of his young NFL career. Appearing in all 16 games for San Francisco, he led the defense with 125 total tackles (ranked 10th in the NFL), while adding two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, a sack and seven quarterback hits.
According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, Warner earned an 88.6 overall grade on the season, PFF’s best-graded linebacker in the league, with a significant gap between himself and the next closest player (Seattle Seahawks Bobby Wagner – 82.9). His passer rating allowed of 81.4 when targeted was 25 points lower than the average linebacker target.
“It’s just the love of the game and knowing that you never have it. The three most dangerous words in life are ‘I got it.’ The moment you think you have it, that’s when you lose it,” Warner said of his standout season on the 49ers Unscripted Podcast. “And so just remaining humble and knowing that there’s always room for improvement in everything that I do, that’s what allows me to go out and play at the highest level. I’m just ultimately trying to put something on tape I can be proud of.
“I’ve still got so much room for improvement. That’s why, when I do hear things like that, it’s humbling. Knowing that I can only get better, it’s scary for what’s to come.”
The third-year linebacker’s 2020 performance earned him his first-career Pro Bowl honor as well. Not only did Warner earn a spot on AP’s All-Pro Team, he also received the most votes of all linebackers, even fellow first teamers Wagner and Indianapolis Colts Darius Leonard, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.
Warner becomes the first member of the 49ers to be named first-team All-Pro since teammate George Kittle earned the honor last season, and is the first defensive player since linebacker NaVorro Bowman in 2015.