Reuben Foster-LB-Alabama
Size: 6’1 228lbs

Reuben Foster

Strengths:

  • Athletic
  • Tough
  • Speed
  • Loves contact
  • Coverage skills
  • Solid tackler

Analysis: Reuben Foster is an outstanding athlete with springy, reactive feet. He lost 15 pounds in the off-season, which gave him more speed and explosiveness. Loose hips and long stride allows him to open and chase immediately. Has elite sideline-to-sideline range. Tough as nails. Brings swagger to a linebacking corps. Never passive and always means it. Willing to take his shots downhill and into gaps.  Coverage ability is an asset. Logged 10 passes defensed in 2015. Can carry long speed against running backs on wheel routes and nine routes. Has worked to improve tackling technique, which has yielded higher success rate of finishes.

Weaknesses:

  • Can get swallowed up by blocks
  • Block shedding
  • Instincts

Analysis: Foster’s actual play instincts are just average. He is overly reliant on speed and athleticism over instincts and feel. Can be a tick slow to respond to play-action. Inconsistent defeating blocks. Too eager to take on everyone at the point of attack. Gets shoulder covered up firing into incoming blockers. Needs to improve stack and shed technique to keep himself clean. On tape, he was too often willing to take on opposing lineman rather than fighting them off to get to the ball carrier. Poor tackling technique led to “stinger” issues early in his career—but seem to be corrected with practice on technique.

What scouts say:  “He’s not a MIKE linebacker. I think he’s a pure run-and-hit WILL linebacker with good cover talent. I’m worried about what his medicals will show because he’s had some issues with stingers during his career. I have a higher grade on him than I had on Reggie Ragland. Better pro potential to me.”

NFL Comparison: Jonathan Vilma

Draft Projection: Round 1

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