LB Reuben Foster, Alabama
6’0”, 229 lbs.
- 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.
- 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.
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.