BYU’s Fred Warner is a 2018 NFL Draft prospect who could fit multiple positions on the defensive side of the ball.
Fred Warner is a long and athletically built linebacker prospect. He features excellent closing speed and overall athleticism. Warner is one of the more unique 2018 NFL Draft prospects in that he could potentially fit as either a linebacker or safety.
BYU typically used Warner off the ball or out in the slot. In this spot, he would drop into coverage and attack the run game. His overall athleticism is what allowed BYU to use him in such a versatile role.
Warner’s position at the next level is tough to peg. He has a thin frame which will make it tough for him to work near the line of scrimmage. However, he would be considered oversized for a safety. The best way to look at Warner is as a hybrid defender in the mold of a Deone Bucannon.
However, Warner doesn’t have experience working in deep coverage nor does has he a lot of snaps working in man. BYU typically asked him to drop into a zone and read. He excelled in this role thanks to his feel for the position and quickness.
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Warner’s athleticism and balance make him a strong coverage linebacker. He may not have much experience in man coverage, but features the traits to quickly develop. This is a raw prospect with huge upside.
While Warner lacks ideal bulk for a linebacker, he does play with aggressiveness and in attack mode. Warner does a great job attacking the line of scrimmage and delivering a jolt to the blocker. This strike and punch helps him work off blocks.
Warner is not only a reliable tackler but someone capable of delivering a pop. His tape if full of big time hits; some of which resulted in fumbles.
A strong indication of Warner’s versatility is that he finished his career with 6.5 sacks and 7 interceptions. He may not have an easily defined position at the next level, but NFL defenses are becoming more positionless.
Look for a created defensive coordinator to find ways to use Warner’s athleticism. It wouldn’t be a shock to hear his name called on the 2nd day of the draft.