NFL Draft Scouting Report: Reuben Foster

Alabama
Inside Linebacker
Senior, 6’1″ 240

Foster is a missile from sideline to sideline and lays the lumber when he gets there.

Good:
– Run stopping (instincts, flow, penetration, tackling)
– Block shedding and take on
– Motor/Hustle
– Special sideline to sideline ability
– Hit power
– Great success rate on run throughs resulting in tackles for loss
– Above average coverage ability versus RBs

Bad:
– Top end speed
– Change of direction/movement in space
– At times will overrun plays

Reuben Foster was a five star recruit and widely regarded as the top linebacker recruit in the nation coming out of high school. He became known for committing to Auburn early in the process and going as far as to have the Auburn logo tattooed onto his forearm. But when Gene Chizik and an assistant who he developed a close relationship with were let go, Foster reopened his recruiting and eventually choose Alabama on signing day. After sitting behind CJ Mosley and Reggie Ragland, he was the main guy this year and could end up being the best of them all. This year he was the Butkus Award winner, named a unanimous First Team All-America, and a finalist for the Nagurski Award. He finished with 94 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks in the regular season.

Foster is a missile in the run game showing off his instincts, flow steps, penetration and finishing. Most of his effectiveness is between the tackles where he shows a great ability to take on blocks, get extension, and defeat them in order to be in position to make the play. He also has special talent when he’s running plays sideline to sideline. One of my favorite things that Foster does is makes a lot of tackles for loss on run through opportunities in the run game that allow him to come free to the ball. A lot of players don’t have the feel for the situation or athleticism for making those types of plays.

Foster is also a big time hitter. Where Foster seems like he will struggle the most could be in passing situations. His feet seem to move slower in space, his hips are high in his drops and he hasn’t shown the swivel in his hips to open, plant and get out of your break when changing direction. As it stands, Foster looks like a better prospect than Ragland and appears to be a capable three down linebacker when given coverage responsibilities that consist of matching with running backs and potentially on low to mid-tier tight ends at the next level. If he continues to improve in coverage and movement in space, Foster can develop into an elite every down player.

Round Projection: 1

Games Watched: USC 2016, Tennessee 2016, Texas A&M 2016, Michigan State 2015, Clemson 2015




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