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2018 NFL Scouting Report: Scouting BYU linebacker Fred Warner

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The athletic Warner would be a nice addition to the Broncos defense.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Fred Warner (4) tries to calm the crowd after a Utah interception as BYU hosts Utah, NCAA football in Provo, Saturday September 9, 2017.

One prospect who the Broncos have brought in for a pre-draft visit/workout and may have interest in on day two of the 2018 NFL Draft is former BYU linebacker, Fred Warner. He is a 6’3”, 236lb linebacker who is considered one of the more intriguing day two linebackers in the draft. Warner is ranked as the 5th overall linebacker in the draft according to NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler.

He played four seasons at BYU and put up some impressive numbers. During that four-year span, Warner totaled 262 tackles, 32.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns, 13 pass deflections, 5 fumble recoveries, and 3 forced fumbles. This past year, Warner totaled 87 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, 5 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble.

Warner was a team captain at BYU and started all 13 games for them in 2017. He was named to watch lists for Bednarik Award and Butkus Award last season. He was also named a Wuerffel Trophy nominee and an AFCA Good Works Team nominee as well.

Fred Warner, Senior, BYU

Height: 6’3” Weight: 236 lbs 40 time: 4.64 seconds

Arm Length: 32” Hands: 9 3/4”

Bench Press: 21 reps Vertical Jump: 38.5 inches Broad Jump: 119.0 inches

3-Cone Drill: 6.9 seconds 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.28 seconds

60-Yard Shuttle: 11.77 seconds

Film Room:

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • A new-age hybrid linebacker
  • Leaner but athletic, tall, and strong
  • Balanced athlete and smooth
  • Was a slot defender at BYU so has experience in coverage
  • Has good read and react ability
  • Uses his speed to get around the edge and into the backfield
  • Good ball skills for a linebacker
  • Effective in coverage and in zone coverage
  • Good instincts and a nose for the ball
  • Great range and closes in on ball carriers
  • Excellent in space
  • Team captain at BYU

Weaknesses:

  • Offensive lineman can take him out of the play if they get to him
  • Probably needs to bulk up a little more
  • Needs to work on his tackle technique some
  • Can get over aggressive at times
  • Not a traditional linebacker and needs to be used properly to excel

Quotable:

NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler on Fred Warner via his draft guide.

A four-year starter at BYU, Warner was a true every-down player at BYU, serving as the SAM linebacker or nickel defender often on the hash vs. slot receivers – also played on special teams coverages. With his functional athleticism and versatility, he is at his best in space with the play speed and controlled burst to quickly react, trusting his instincts vs. the pass and the run. He displays various disengage techniques to aggressively work off blocks, but needs to get stronger to better compete with NFL blockers. Overall, Warner is a dependable tackler with the cover athleticism, toughness and intuition to stay on the field for all three downs as a match-up weapon – the type of linebacker all 32 teams could use.

Does linebacker Fred Warner make sense for the Broncos on day two of the NFL Draft?:

I finished this scouting report by liking Warner more than I already did. He’s an athletic freak and exactly the type of the linebacker that excels in today’s NFL.

Warner is not your traditional three-down linebacker who can shed blocks and be a run thumper. That is not his game. He is someone who excels in space and in coverage. If he wants to be a more traditional linebacker he will need to add some more core strength. However, if you’re drafting him to be that guy, you’re making a mistake.

The Broncos already have two more traditional linebackers in Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis. They can deal with offensive lineman and get through the trash, but do struggle in coverage at times. They did just acquire Su’a Cravens to be their dime backer to help fix this weakness, but adding Warner would just help your pass coverage even more.

I think pick 40 might be a tad rich for Warner, but I would not be upset at all if they went that route. The Broncos first third-round pick might be a tad late for him though, but I believe he is high on the Broncos draft board.

This is the type of linebacker the Broncos need and should add to their defense. Cravens is a great start, but one more would help a ton.