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Scouting Reports: LB Reuben Foster

Steve Shoup

LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

6’0”, 229 lbs.

 

Pros:

  • Highly productive starting ILB the past two years in the SEC.
  • Really good cover linebacker, should be capable of defending most backs out of the backfield and a number of tight ends in man coverage.
  • Smart zone defender, who uses his speed and quickness to break on the ball.
  • Really quick and athletic linebacker, which makes him dangerous in pursuit.
  • Excellent range to chase down ball carriers.
  • Good blitzer, can bring effective pressure when asked to attack the quarterback.
  • Big time hitter, will make ball carrier’s feel it if he hits them, and stops forward progress cold.

 

Cons:

  • Has some medical concerns that teams will need to evaluate.
  • Was sent home from the Combine after an argument with a medical worker, maturity and discipline will be questioned.
  • Will go for the big hit too often and he’s whiffed some, which could be more problematic versus more athletic NFL players.

 

Overall:

Assuming that the medical concerns with Foster aren’t that critical, he remains an elite prospect worthy of a top ten pick and should definitely go in the top 20. Foster has incredible range in both coverage and run defense making him a perfect fit for today’s NFL off ball linebacker.

Too often now non-pass rushing linebackers fall into one of two categories of good run support guys, who are average at best versus the pass if not a down right liability. Or they are good in coverage, but lack the bulk, power, and instincts to defend the run effectively. Foster is a rare blend of being really good in both areas with no major weakness. That gives him the chance to be an elite player at the next level and a true difference maker.

 

 



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