By: Zach Hernandez @Zachhernan)
Overview: At 6’0″ 229 Lbs., Foster has ideal NFL ILB size. He was able to shed some weight (20 Lbs.) and after that, his performance improved as well. With his smaller size comes a faster player with the same Madden hit-stick-like tackles. He was honored with a unanimous 1st team All-American & All-SEC pick. Foster also won the nations best LB award – the Dick Butkus award & was a finalist for the Bendnarik award. Foster was SEC Champion MVP as well.
- Run game – Foster excels against the run.
- Good blitzer.
- Foster is a leader of men. True alpha dog.
- He excels at reading offenses and anticipating where the ball is going.
- He also runs stride for stride with RBs out of the backfield or TEs.
- Very quick to the flat to break up a pass or lay out a RB.
- Exceptionally well at dropping back into coverage.
- Versatile – Foster fits into a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense.
- Foster hits the soul out of people.
- His tackling has steadily improved every year.
- Losing weight helped him gain elite speed.
- True sideline to sideline ability.
- Very high floor.
- Easily blocked for a player of his caliber.
- Even with his lighter frame, his speed still might be too slow for NFL talent.
- Goes for the big hit rather than the for-sure tackle sometimes.
- Needs polishing on his route diagnosis.
- Bites on play-action throws harder than he should.
- Inconsistent instincts.
- Sometimes the game seems to be moving too fast for him.
- Poor tackling – led to injuries in the past.
- Character concerns; I’m sure every time that meets with Foster will ask him about his infamous hospital incident during the combine.
- Some say you can’t teach instincts, and Fosters aren’t the absolute best.
- Sometimes he over-relies on his physical abilities, which won’t work in the NFL.
- Medical history – injuries.
Overall: In my opinion, Reuben Foster is the best ILB in this draft. He hits harder than anyone in this class. Since he lost weight, he has a new speed which has propelled his game. As long as he continues to work on his game and is coached properly, I think Foster can become a superstar linebacker for whichever team decides to take him. Lastly, Foster needs strong leadership and a coach that hold his players accountable, but the potential is there for him to be great.
Ceiling: Thomas Davis
Floor: Bobby Wagner