While the 2018 NFL Draft is more than two months away, plenty of elite prognosticators are already predicting what might happen. In fact, many of the leading experts on the draft prospects deliver mock drafts all throughout the year.
This year is no different as many in the know have already delivered their first round projections. Some, including SB Nation’s Dan Kadar, have already come out with 2-round mock drafts.
While BYU doesn’t have any players projected to go in the first round, Kadar has former Cougar linebacker Fred Warner landing with the New England Patriots with the No. 63 overall pick (the second to last selection of the second round).
If Warner were to land in New England, he would be the third former Cougar linebacker on the roster joining Kyle Van Noy and Harvey Langi.
Although the Patriots would be an interesting landing spot for Warner, the second round selection is more lofty than some have the outside linebacker projected to go.
Frank Cooney of NFLDraftScout.com has Warner rated as his No. 12 outside linebacker, but gives him a fourth round projection.
Luke Easterling of USA Today’s Draft Wire has him listed as a Day 3 projection, but had plenty of positive things to say in Warner’s draft profile.
“A highly touted recruit who drew interest from some of the bigger powerhouse programs in the west, Warner is one of the fastest-rising names in this year’s deep linebacker class,” wrote Easterling. “A versatile, athletic defender with ideal physical tools, Warner is a sleeper prospect who is waking up a national audience.”
After breaking down some of Warner’s impressive stats during his time with the Cougars, Easterling closes by saying, “Don’t be surprised if he comes off the board earlier than many expect.”
The NFL Scouting Combine profile for Warner goes much more in-depth about what he can do on the field, while grading him out at a 5.58 and handing out a draft projection of Rounds 4-5.
After giving an overview plus some strengths and weaknesses, Lance Zierlein delivers his bottom line on Warner saying, “Warner’s future success could largely depend on who takes him and how they use him. While most will view him as an outside linebacker, Warner moves around like a big safety. With his instincts and cover skills in space, finding a hybrid role in sub-packages might be where he is best utilized.”
Zierlein then states that Warner’s combine performance could play a big role in his draft value before saying that, “Warner should find immediate work as a backup who can help on special teams.”