|Fred Warner makes one of his Senior Bowl tackles (Brynn Anderson, AP)|
Five years ago, BYU's Ezekiel Ansah impressed during Senior Bowl practices and dominated the game. That turn of events had a lot to do with him being the fifth pick overall in the 2013 NFL Draft.
This year, Fred Warner went into the Senior Bowl hoping he could get similar dividends. Judging by the game tape and expert analysis of his practice performance, he will be handsomely rewarded. Not top five, or even first round money, but he could possibly be taken in the second round.
Early reports were that the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets were showing interest in Warner. Later in the week, the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers were thrown into the mix. Take that for what it's worth."I wouldn't be surprised if Fred Warner rose up into the top 60 picks of the Draft." @LedyardNFLDraft— ESPN960Sports (@espn960sports) January 25, 2018
Warner started getting a lot of pub with his measurables. He came in at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 235 pounds, with 31 5/8 inch arms and 9 3/4 inch hands. Observers were very impressed with his physique, but one person there is saying he isn't really that tall.
By comparison, Kyle Van Noy measured 6-foot-3 1/4, 244 pounds, 9 1/2 inch hands, and 32 inch arms at the Senior Bowl in 2014.Fred Warner from BYU had an impressive build, but he was almost standing on his tip-toes when measured and didn't get caught.— Ethan Young (@NFLDrafter) January 23, 2018
Warner didn't waste time to start turning heads on the practice field. Draft analysts started singling him out on day one. By Wednesday, one analyst was adamant Warner wasn't getting enough press.
Fred Warner needs more attention. pic.twitter.com/Dmt1AutlM3— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) January 24, 2018
Emory Hunt, Jonah Tuls, the Downtown Rams, and others obliged.
During a Twitter Q&A on Thursday, Jon Ledyard brought up Warner twice. First as a good fit for the Steelers. Then he gushed about Warner's week overall.
DraftAnalyst.com provided a well organized summary of Warner's practice evaluation.Fred Warner going to off-ball WLB and reading and attacking keys, playing physically in taking on blocks, and understanding how to sift through trash was really surprising to me. He helped himself a ton https://t.co/27tpq409sA— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 26, 2018
Warner clearly took the practices seriously, which led to him being Ledyard's fourth best prospect performer. However, Warner found time for a lighter moment or two. For example, catching up with former BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
It was also great to catch up with Fred Warner who I coached at BYU. Very proud to have 5 former players in the Senior Bowl. Fun to see them all. Love all of them. pic.twitter.com/FUzno4nWCu— Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) January 25, 2018
Warner made sure he had his game face on when the actual game kicked off. He played 38 snaps, and made six tackles from the inside linebacker spot. His play did nothing to diminish the positive momentum he got from practice.
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