By: Steve Johnson
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
6’0″ 229, 32 3/8″ arms, 10 1/4″ hands
*Did not participate in combine
2014: 9 games. 23 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack.
2015: 15 games. 73 tackles, 8 TFL, 1 sack, 7 PD
2016: 15 games. 115 tackles, 13 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 PD.
Accolades: USA Today High School All-American in 2012. 2013 Under Armour All-America Game defensive MVP. 2015 National Champion. 2016 First Team All-SEC. 2016 SEC Championship game MVP. 2016 Butkus Award. 2016 unanimous first-team All-American
Injuries: Injured hamstring in July 2012. Suffered a concussion in the spring game in 2013. Missed 2 games in 2013 due to stingers. Suffered another concussion in 2016. Had a hand injury in 2016. Had surgery on his right rotator cuff and did not work out at the combine (was sent home after getting into an argument with medical personnel.
History: An Alabama native. When Foster was 18 months, his father shot his mother while she was holding him, Foster was injured in his back and his mother survived. His father was indicted by a grand jury but fled to California. After being arrested, he was extradited back to Alabama where he escaped from jail. Foster’s father took on a new identity in Miami and was on the run for 16 years before being expedited again to Randolph County, Al. Foster moved across the border to LaGrange, GA after sixth grade. Has an 8 year old daughter (A‘Zyia) with the the younger sister of an Auburn linebacker. Transferred back to Auburn, Al for his senior year. Originally committed to the University of Auburn (even got an Auburn tattoo) before signing with Alabama. In April 16′ was present at (but not involved) a triple homicide outside an Auburn nightclub. Failed the drug test at the combine, the sample came back diluted.
Strengths: Run and hit linebacker. Excellent range going sideline to sideline. Plays bigger than his size. Lost 15 pounds last offseason and became a faster more in shape player. Is a heat seeking missile, can really pop. Lose hips, can turn and run with running backs. Great football character, brings a swagger to the entire defense. Has worked on his tackle technique through the years. Tough kid.
Weaknesses: Has had some injury issues. Non football character needs to be vetted. Lacks ideal size, which might cause durability concerns. Can be a little overly aggressive.
Overview: An athletic and competitive linebacker, Foster would bring a swagger to your defense day one. Ideally suited for a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 or inside linebacker in a 3-4. They’ve had some really talented linebackers come out of there, he may be the best.
Draft Projection: 1st Round Pick
Phanaddict Draft Grade: 6.5