The Packers have ignored the inside linebacker position early in the draft, a key reason why they have regularly had issues in the middle of their defense. Free-agent signing De’Vondre Campbell has made a good start, but the Packers will be playing against one of the best linebackers in the NFL on Sunday night.
Fred Warner was a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler last season, and he leads the 49ers in tackles after two games with 18.
Warner is a great all-round player, but he’s excellent in coverage. According to Pro Football Reference, he allowed a passer rating of just 69.7 in his coverage last season, while also making six pass defenses and two interceptions.
The Packers know exactly how good Warner is. In his past three games against Green Bay, he’s made a combined 30 tackles, one sack, 3.5 tackles for loss, and a pass defense. He was all over the field making plays.
Now imagine him in the middle of the Packers’ defense. Inside linebacker would no longer be a concern for Green Bay, rather one of the team’s biggest strengths. Warner would help in every area of the defense, but he’d make it particularly difficult for quarterbacks to find success in the middle of the field.
Unfortunately, the Packers have to game-plan against him this week.