2020 NFL Draft: 3 linebackers who could be the next Fred Warner

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Justin Strnad 2020 NFL Draft

BIRMINGHAM, AL – DECEMBER 22: Wake Forest Demon Deacons linebacker Justin Strnad (23) during the Birmingham Bowl between the Memphis Tigers and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on December 22, 2018 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Justin Strnad, Wake Forest

Listed at an almost identical 6-foot-3, 235 pounds compared to Warner (listed 236 pounds), Justin Strnad of Wake Forest is likely a name you haven’t heard unless you’re a huge Wake Forest fan.

It’s time to become familiar with him.

He was on his way to a career year with Wake Forest prior to suffering a ruptured biceps tendon against Florida State, limiting him to seven games. He averaged nearly 10 tackles per game in that span, and has a couple of years of intriguing productivity prior to 2019 to hang onto as well.

Over the last three years, Strnad had 22.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups and four interceptions. He hits hard and plays with excellent instincts and range.

Had he played at Alabama, we might be talking about an early second-round guy.

Such is life…

Strnad’s athletic testing will determine exactly how accurate this comparison between he and Fred Warner is, but he’s a three-down linebacker at the NFL level if he reaches his potential and stays healthy. He had the highest coverage grade of any ACC linebacker in 2018:

His game-sealing interception this season off of potential first-round quarterback prospect Jordan Love is one of the top plays of his career and certainly he’s got enough on tape that, if he can test well, he can convince NFL teams to bump him up to a day two grade.

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