Fred Warner

Warner, Greenlaw both top-10 NFL linebackers, according to PFF

Pro Football Focus has both Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw ranked among the ten best linebackers in the NFL.

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The 49ers will head into the 2023 NFL season with two of the best linebackers in the league.

Pro Football Focus released its positional rankings, divided into tiers, of the top-32 linebackers ahead of the 2023 season, with the 49ers well represented.

Tier 1

  1. Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers
  2. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  3. Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints

"These three off-ball linebackers represent the best of the best," Trevor Sikkema wrote. "First and foremost, they bring great awareness and playmaking ability in coverage. They are what teams seek out of the modern-day linebacker at the second level for how they can anticipate and react to plays against the run and pass. These three also have longevity on their side with multiple years of high-end play.

"The 2022 campaign marked the third season in which Warner recorded an 80.0-plus overall grade, solidifying his case as the top player at his position."

Tier 2

  1. Matt Milano, Buffalo Bills
  2. Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens
  3. Shaquille Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
  4. Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks
  5. Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
  6. Tremaine Edmunds, Chicago Bears

"Greenlaw and Edmunds are two of the more athletically gifted linebackers in the league," Sikkema adds. "They could always get sideline to sideline, but their athletic ability didn’t translate to good coverage play before 2022, a season in which both took massive leaps in that category. Greenlaw went from a 62.9 coverage grade in 2021 to an 82.7 coverage grade in 2022. Edmunds went from a 34.6 coverage grade in 2021 to a 90.7 coverage grade in 2022 with just 7.8 yards per reception allowed and 10 passes defended."

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Warner earned his second First Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods in 2022, while Greenlaw recorded a career-high in combined tackles (127).

The 49ers will head into the season with Warner and Greenlaw as the starters at the middle and weakside linebacker positions, while the team looks to replace Azeez Al-Shaair, who signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Tennessee Titans in free agency.

There is no question that San Francisco, under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has one of, if not the best pair of linebackers in the league.

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