Scouting Report: Fred Warner, LB

Is BYU the Linebacker U for the Patriots? It just might be if they add a 3rd LB from that school to their roster.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Well, I couldn’t let Jeff have all the fun and the kids actually went to bed on time tonight (knock on wood), so I am excited I found some time to sit down, bust out the notebook and see if I can decipher the chicken scratch that I have written down. I think most of us Patriots fans would agree that after the injury to Hightower, the Linebacker play was not great for most of the year. I thought Van Noy played well, but the rest of the group was a revolving door of back up and special teamers that just could not do the job efficiently or effectively. So, for my next few reports, I am going to focus on the position, and today, I will start with a player from a school that the Patriots are very familiar with when it comes to Linebackers.

Name: Fred Warner (#4)

School: BYU (Sr)

Height: 6034 (6’3″, Senior Bowl)

Weight: 235 Lbs (Senior Bowl)



Warner has good size with an athletic frame that appears it can handle some additional bulk. He plays with great balance, both moving forward and backwards. He is efficient with his footwork and rarely takes unnecessary steps. At BYU he was asked to play primarily on the outside covering the slot and he looked comfortable and smooth in his back pedal. Warner is a smart player with great instincts to read and react to plays quickly, but keeps himself under control as to not over pursue his target. He has excellent speed and range for a linebacker and he looks comfortable in both man and zone concepts. He showed a lot of versatility and production at BYU with 7 interceptions and 7.5 sacks in his college career. He is smooth in his transitions and can change direction without having to throttle down his momentum. Warner is a solid tackler who squares up his target and wraps them up. He is known for his off field contributions in the community and should be a positive addition to the locker room.



Warner’s best position in the NFL is going to be at weakside Linebacker, which he has done very little of so far in his career. Although it is a small sample, he did play there primarily down at the Senior Bowl and looked very comfortable in that role. There will be a learning curve however and he may not be ready for a full time role right off the bat. On tape, he did have his struggles setting the edge in the run game because of his long angular frame and lack of core strength, but again, I don’t think that will be the position he plays at the next level, so it is not a huge concern for me going forward. Warner can be too aggressive at times and on tape lost gap discipline when he didn’t read his keys correctly. This took him out of position and out of plays, which is a no no. Another thing I noticed that may not come into play with a position play was that he tried to run around blocker instead of taking them on. This again ties back to his lack of strength, but it is something that he will have to do regardless of position and needs to improve upon.



I am not sure why Warner is not getting more buzz to be honest. Maybe it is the fact that people struggle to see his fit in the NFL, but to me, it seems pretty straightforward. If the Patriots are looking for that athletic freak in the middle to put next to Hightower, ala Jamie Collins, then Warner might be the guy. Most the time when we are talking about the fast coverage Linebackers it comes at the cost of size. That is not the case with Warner. I really like his game and the fit he would have on the Patriots defense. I think he is a top 50 player and would love to see him added to this roster, as I think his versatility and athleticism is needed.





39 Responses to “Scouting Report: Fred Warner, LB”

  1. kevin z says:

    we trade our first for a 2nd rd pick Then trade our mid 2nd for 3rd rd pick with a 5th rd pick not sure if doable or not for fun lol
    2nd Dorance Armstrong sideline to sideline LB with upside very smooth athlete like him more about same as Warner
    2nd Cunningham OT like him more then Crosby
    3rd M. j. Stewart S -can cover TE played CB better at safety wont bite on double moves like him more than Blanding
    3rd Ian Thomas TE – Can Block and Catch a leader type will work hard on weaknesses
    4th PJ Hall DT Lose the weight gained get back to a beast can rush plus stop the run like more than other DT for the value than reaching for one. if was couple inches taller be 1-2 rd pick
    4th Marcell Frazier DE -Hyper Active Rugged wont take plays off played all over DL think of a shorter armed trey flowers. Steal like Flowers was and is
    5th Javon Rolland Jones LB-DE undersized but has an advanced Rush Skills for a college player. Love the Value here if was 15-20 ibs heavier would be a 2nd – 3rd rd pick
    6th Phillip Lindsay RB- energizer Bunny type good Hands plus plays ST reminds me of Burkhead. leader type get teammates hyped with style of play

    Why No DT or DE early u ask? My reasoning is very little amount of Edge Rushers is this draft.
    From 2nd to early 4th not much drop of in DT or DE so no reason to reach for one.
    From reading the scouting reports. too reading and listening to the experts is what I’m getting. I realize RB deep too think get one late and a UDFA one.

    This my final Mock until the draft. these Players from video along with reports have convinced me lol. Only Change is If The players rise to high in the draft after combine!

  2. Russell says:

    Another free agent the Patriots should move on is WR/Special teams Jeff Janis 6’3″ 219 lbs.. ( Green Bay) 4.42 40 yd., 6.64 3 -cone. An Ace Special teams guy with speed, to replace Slater who may retire. Cost should be good value.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      I love Janis’ physical traits (although his arms are not long).

      He had one great game for the Pack, but otherwise disappeared for 4 years. Nobody thinks he has much future in Green Bay. The question is, “Is Jeff Janis being mis-used in Green Bay?”

      Can the Pats put him in a better situation to thrive?

      By traits, at the very least, he seems like a potential ST stud, who could maybe, if things go just right be a good practice player and depth WR.

  3. Stephen J says:

    Kliff Kingsbury former Pats QB and current head coach at Texas Tech is a fan

  4. Stephen J says:

    Luke Falk has been working with former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley and quarterback guru Adam Dedeaux CEO of quarterback coaching academy 3DQB to refine his dropbacks and snaps from under center as well as throwing expert Tom House who is on the coaching staff at quarterback coaching academy 3DQB

    One other thing about Falk is teams like how many times he has lead his team back on game winning drives during his career.

  5. Stephen J says:

    Fumble Ration for RB’s by Dane Brugler

    One thing to note I was using Fox Sports stats for fumble ratio’s they are apparently different then what Dane uses

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I hate tipping my hand because I am working on his report as we speak, but I *love one of the guys at the top of that list who can be had later in the draft. More on him to come.

      *not Kareem Hunt level, but up there.

    • Stephen J says:

      Now it wasn’t all good for Warner at the Senior Bowl either here he gets beat by RB Rashaad Penny while in coverage

      Ben Fennell has this to say about Warner

      6034 235lbs 31 5/8 arms, 9 3/4 hands… Played primarily the nickel/SAM overhang player for BYU’s defense… When OL gets their hands on him game over due to arm length.

      I want defensive players that use their hands and defeat blocks!!! That’s Fred Warner.
      Just note from me he struggles when in traffic as highlighted in Steelers Deport Breakdown and when OL gets to 2nd level

      Excellent tackler – both in space and between the OTs.. Matchup coverage abilities + saavy zone instincts + ball skills… I love his size, toughness, physicality

      He played a similar role to Ohio State’s Darron Lee….

      Lee is (was) a better athlete…

      Warner is a better football player…

      Also contributor on punt coverage for BYU… I can see him being a core special teamer in the NFL

      • Mike Gerken says:

        I agree about his struggles in traffic and I should have noted that. If you watch, his steps get very short and choppy and he gets way to vertical. Good catch Stephen

    • Stephen J says:

      To me is he better than what we have in Marquis Flowers if resigned no. Is he better than Elandon Roberts yes.

  6. kevin z says:

    2nd Lorenzo Carter LB Long Rangy Scheme Versatile
    2nd Cunningham OT
    2nd M. j. Stewart S -can cover TE played CB better at safety wont bite on double moves
    3rd Foley Fatukasi DT can stop the run Plus rush was asked to just contain
    4th Javon Rolland Jones LB-DE undersized but has an advanced Rush Skills
    4th Marcell Frazier DE -Hyper Active Rugged wont take plays off played all over DL
    6th Phillip Lindsay RB- energizer Bunny type good Hands plus plays ST

    This Mock just about versatile Players who I think fit best for our Patriots
    Depth really killed this Team so thinking take advantage of it
    With Van Noy Ht River Langi returning add in Carter Release Roberts Since carter can Play all over
    Cunningham adds to our OL could lose a few there Resign Fleming for cheaper hope Garcia come back to form as well.
    Stewart -can cover TE and slot WR’s as a Safety Bye Bye Richards
    Foley -can stop the run plus collapse the pocket bye bye Branch
    Rolland Jones- can Rush The Passer plus range for the Tackle
    Frazier can Rush the passer, more a Pressure than a sack type Player, can set the edge, Hyper active player.
    Lindsay can rush and catch plus plays on Special teams

    LB- Van Noy HT Rivers Langi Carter Rolland Jones
    S DMac Chung Harmon Stewart
    DT Brown GUY Fatukasi
    DE Flowers Wise Frazier Rolland Jones
    RB White Lewis Lindsay

    • kevin z says:

      not sure why posted this old Mock rather fred warner first pick and DT Hall where FOLEY is lol
      rest I’m fine with

  7. EdgeX says:

    Mike please tell me you’re going to do a scouting report of Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch!

    I’m high on both guys from what I’ve read.

  8. Russell says:

    Looking over the free agent list there may be good value like DT Lawrence Guy was last year.
    #1 – DE, Brent Urban 6’7″ 295 lbs. (Baltimore) Went on IR Sept. 17 for foot surgery. Age 26, 34 3/4″ arms. Good looking prospect 4th round pick, & was drafted by Canadian football team.
    #2 – S/SS/CB Keith McGill 6’3″ 210 lbs. (Raiders) age 28 (4 yrs. experience)4.51 40yd., 6.90 3-cone, 33 1/2″ arms, 10 1/4″ hands .
    #3 – LB Marcus Smith 6’3″ 258 lbs. (Seattle) age 25 , 34″ arms, 10″ hands, 4.64 40 yd. A 1st round pick by Philly (#25) & cut after one season, & signed by Seattle.
    #4 – LT/RT/G James Hurst 6’5″ 318 lbs. (Baltimore) age 26, 33 3/4′ arms,
    Urban looks like a gem, for the Patriots, for a DT Guy type contract, missing time last yr. with injury.
    McGill was a CB in college BYU I remember scouting him hopeing the Patriots would draft him. Same with Hurst OT in college, N.C. If memory serves his Dad was an OL coach with KC.

  9. Turbo says:

    Cut: Bennett, Allen, Richards, Harris, McClellin, Gillislee, Branch, Britt = 25M

    Resign: Solder, Amendola, Burkehead, Ebner, Flowers, Waddle

    Sign: Vontae Davis (1 year prove yourself deal), Eric Ebron (i think the Lions is going cut him and his 8M salary), Taylor Gabriel (slot + returner)


    1/31: Malik Jefferson LB (I want Rashaan Evans the most, but he’s probably gone at this point)
    2/41: Taven Bryan DT
    2/63: Trade for a mid 3rd and mid 4th
    Mid 3rd: Lorenzo Carter DE/OLB
    3/95: Jessie Bates S
    Mid 4th: Mike White QB
    4th comp: Trade for late 5th and 6th
    Late 5th: Siran Neal CB
    Late 6th: Braxton Berrios WR
    6/209: Chase Edmonds RB

    UDFA: Kani Benoit RB, Stanley Morgan Jr. WR, Kyle Allen QB, Nick DeLuca LB

    • JH says:

      I didn’t realize V. Davis was a free agent, that’d be a great pickup regardless of whether or not Butler leaves (which I think is basically confirmed).

    • steve earle says:

      Honestly I’d rather have Bennett back then Ebron. Nothing against Ebron I just like Bennett better.

      • steve earle says:

        Not that I wouldn’t sign Ebron if Bennett was deemed to expensive. May I ask is there any other reason then contract cost Lion’s would release Ebron?

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Ebron should be able to command the same $6-8M/year range as Marty B.
        But, Ebron is younger and healthier, right?

        Bennett is a better blocker, though.

        I like my number 1 TE to be 6’6″ and on the way to 270.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree on size 6-6 270 +/- and Ebron younger but Bennett the more complete player. Either would be good. Still why is Detriot not keeping Ebron? Not like good TE’s are easy to get. Is their cap in trouble or what?

    • EdgeX says:

      McClellin, if healthy, I’d keep because the LB depth blows.

      And we don’t need another WR as I’m pretty sure Amendola’s going to be back.

      Solder, Amendola, Waddle, Ebner, Slater and pick one – Burkehead or Lewis – are high priorities for a resign for me.

      • JoeyNL says:

        I would not be surprised to see McClellin retire given his history with concussions. He was put on IR with one and had an setback while trying to return to the field. Spending the year on IR because of an concussion is not good.
        Reports were that he had several concussions in college as well.

      • steve earle says:

        I’d say Burkhead AND Lewis are priority’s. A RB group of Lewis, Burkhead,White is a strong unit why brake it up? If it’s a cost factor your considering then realize Lewis is expected to be looking at 5-6 Mil year contract.

        • Stephen J says:

          With Lewis one thing to consider is cap space especially with San Fran who has tons of cap space even after Jimmy G will be able to out bid us easily for Dions services and Dion has said that he is not taking a home town discount he is pretty much going to the highest bidder.

    • steve earle says:

      Taven Bryan I’m not sure about. Some reviews rave about his athleticism and ability and others question his football instincts and IQ. I don’t know and that’s why I don’t mock him. He could be a huge star or a huge flop just don’t know. I’ll wait and if Bill drafts him I’m okay with that. Until Mike does a review on him I’m holding’em tight.

    • steve earle says:

      Taven Bryan I’m not sure about. Some reviews rave about his athleticism and ability and others question his football instincts and IQ. I don’t know and that’s why I don’t mock him. He could be a huge star or a huge flop just don’t know? I’ll wait and if Bill drafts him I’m okay with that. Until Mike does a review on him I’m holding’em tight.

  10. Chris D. says:

    I think Warner could make an immediate impact and he is definitely more well rounded than Elandon Roberts

  11. GM-in-Training says:

    How much salary cap will the Pats have after making their moves?

    According to,

    …the Pats have $13M now, could free up another $15M restructuring, and $17M by letting go of expensive rotational players.

    That would give the Pats $45M to retain FA’s Solder, Lewis, White, and maybe one of their other OT.

    My guess is that would leave them about $25M to go on a spree. My favorite theory right now is to stock up on positions in the middle of the pay scale, especially ones where rookies tend not to be ready on day 1; Talented LB, SS, DL, RB.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      The corollary to that would be drafting positions at the top of the pay scale, where Rookies sometimes produce in year 1; DE, DT, CB…and if you’re willing to be patient OT and QB.

  12. kevin z says:

    The reports I seen seem to mention he struggles to tackle. if not true Warner for sure moves up on my Board had him late 2 mid 3rd rd . do like how moves like a big safety can move around

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I thought his 2016 showed some inconsistency in tackling, but I did not see it in his 2017 tape. He is not your prototypical big thumping ILB, he has to wrap up to make the tackle. There is some issue of bouncing off tackles due to lack of weight I suppose, but not anything that came up as a red flag for me at least.

      • kevin z says:

        Thanks a lot Mike glad to hear his tackling improved from 2016. Like this player overall wouldn’t mind if got him with our second 2nd rd pick.

  13. kevin z says:

    I like the total package with Warner. the only thing don’t like is struggles to tackle.
    tackling huge for Patriots willing to give up a short catch as long make the tackle.
    I do like the Size athletic ability though

  14. John says:

    Really like Fred Warner. Between his size, movement, and mental aptitude, I think he is being incredibly undervalued.

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