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Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Profiles: Reuben Foster, LB

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2017 Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Alabama vs Washington Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Reuben Foster, LB
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 229 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st Round
NFL Comparison: Bobby Wagner

College Statistics

Player Overview

Reuben Foster is undoubtedly the best linebacker in the draft. He has excellent physicality and has the mean streak and toughness teams are looking for out of their starting linebackers. His attitude has been described as “Alpha” and it shows on tape. If the play is in his vicinity he wants to get there and put the ball carrier down. If it's not in his vicinity he will run there and put the ball carrier down. Foster has great athleticism for the position and can play sideline to sideline and has great range overall. His quickness and burst offer legitimate pass rushing value and he proved that this year with five sacks. Recently he has gotten a few knocks on him one being his size when he weighed in at 229. I have no issue with it. People forget he lost 15-20lbs from last season and he played at that weight during the season and was still laying dudes out. The other is his meltdown he had with a hospital employee at the combine. That is more worrisome but he has apologized and has held a meeting with teams explaining the circumstances. The knock I have on him is that he has forced no career turnovers that skill is critical for good NFL linebackers.

Strengths

  • Mean, tough, and wants to inflict pain on his opponents.
  • Reliable tackler for the most part and plays with good technique, bend, and leverage.
  • Fluid and smooth in his movements can change direction and adjust to the angle of play.
  • Decisive doesn't pussyfoot around in pursuit. He drives, closes, and finishes with meaning.
  • Good in coverage and is able to stick with his assignment and has the passes defended numbers to back it up.
  • A+ determination and effort.

Weaknesses

  • No career turnovers.
  • Would be considered undersized by some and might be moved outside depending on the team.
  • Can be fooled by play action and can get overaggressive in his angles.
  • Needs to be more consistent when getting off blocks sometimes he can get swallowed up.

Let’s see his work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

I think Foster is scheme versatile which boosts his stock further. I don’t see a problem with him playing inside in a 3-4 base or outside in a 4-3. Despite Foster’s outburst at the combine, I have a hard time seeing him slipping out of the first 15 picks. No other linebacker in this class has his blend of attitude, physical gifts, production at the position, and his understanding of how to play the position. If by some miracle Foster was still on the board at 17 there would have to be a really good player left on the board for me to even give a thought of drafting someone else. Foster obviously would bring much more than passion and heart to the table for the Redskins. He would provide a level of skill and physicality the team has not had for a long time and finally give the team a pass rush presence at the position. My reservation regarding his lack of turnovers is really a nitpick. I always look at turnover production when it comes to linebackers but I think with more development Foster could blend his instinct to knock someone out with more skill at ripping at the ball. If Foster continues to develop and figures out when to pop someone and when to rip out the ball he’s going to be a perennial pro bowler.