LB Reuben Foster, 6’0’’ 229, Alabama
Where He Excels:
True three down linebacker able to stop the run, blitz the passer and drop into coverage. Excellent athlete, possesses sideline to sideline range. Physical hitter who never shies away from contact. High football IQ, quick at diagnosing plays and finding the ball. More than willing to take on blockers and usually neutralizes them. Sure tackler who rarely fails to finish off a ball carrier. Has coverage skills to stay with running backs in space and tight ends down the seam. Scheme versatility, projects well as either a 3-4 inside linebacker or outside in a 4-3 scheme. Team leader who sets tone with his physical, never stop style of play.
Things to Work On:
Overly physical style has led to some questions about his ability to stay healthy. At times is too reliant on his athleticism leading to some over pursuits and missed plays. Takes himself out of some plays by engaging with blockers instead of trying to beat them. Sent home early from scouting combine due to issue with medical staff has raised questions about character.
A two year starter for the stingy Crimson Tide defense, Foster has become one of the top defensive prospects in this upcoming draft. In the pass happy NFL Foster’s athleticism and coverage abilities make him stand out amongst a talented class of linebackers in this year’s draft. Despite concerns about his ability to stay healthy, Foster should become an anchor on defense for whatever team drafts him early in the first round this spring.