2017 NFL Draft
Scouting Report
Prospect:  Reuben Foster


   

School:          Alabama
Ht:  6'-1"       Wt:  240
Eligibility:      SR
Uniform:       #10
Position #1:       ILB






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Foster finds himself in a position to be the next in a long line of great Alabama linebackers over the past ten years. While Foster may not have the imposing size of Rolando McClain and Donta Hightower or the instincts of C.J. Mosley and Reggie Ragland, he does bring something to the table that makes him special. Foster loves contact. When he gets going, he aims to get the best of the player in his sights. Whether on special teams or defense, he is a punisher that can change the game with one hit. He does occasionally forget to wrap up, but more often than not his opponent ends up on their back.


In his first three years, he has seen plenty of action. Against the run, he excels in the box. He has no problem stepping up and taking on lead blockers or meeting the back in the hole. He makes plays on the sideline as well, but I wouldn't call it a strength of his. He has the speed, but it shows up more in the open field than it does when he has to run through traffic.

One area I would like to see him improve as a senior is in his diagnosis of a play. When he sees what is going on, he goes into attack mode. The problem is he doesn't always make it to attack mode because before he makes his read, a lineman has already got his hands on him. Foster has the power and athleticism to beat blockers in the open field, but he has to react quicker in order to give himself a chance. I would also like to see him separate from blockers better. As I said earlier, he takes on blocks well, but that is only half the battle. Once engaged, he needs to get his arms extended and become part of the play as opposed to letting himself be taken out of it.


Against the pass, he is above average in coverage when the play is in front of him. Once again, he goes into attack mode once he sees what is happening which plays well when he drops back into zone coverage. I am not sure I want him attempting to carry tight ends down the seam or matching up one-on-one against running backs out of the backfield but he can have a role on third downs.

As a blitzer, he is an opportunistic player. He keeps his eye on the quarterback, and while he may not have many pass-rush moves, he does excel at spying the quarterback. He waits for the quarterback to step up or escape the pocket, and he corrals him. In this aspect, he does extend his hands and disengage well.

In the NFL, I have questions about whether he fits better as a middle linebacker in a 3-4 defense or on the strong side in a 4-3 scheme. His ability to be physical at the point of attack is something that will fit well in either case. Most SAM linebackers come out on passing downs but also have bigger roles on special teams which is right up his ally. Either way, I think he can have success very early, and garner a similar draft selection as Ragland, his counterpart from last year.

Compares to (Current NFL Player): Denzel Perryman (San Diego Chargers) or Avery Williamson (Tennessee Titans)

Strengths
- Not afraid to put his nose in the hole
- A violent finisher, similar to Vontaze Burfict
- Underrated athlete
- Great on special teams

Weaknesses
- Needs to react just a bit quicker
- Coverage against the pass will never be a strength
- Must disengage at the point of attack more often
- Tends not to wrap up when he makes a big hit


Austin Smith
Austinjs14@aol.com
July 24, 2016



Articles/Links
1)   Reuben Foster could be "more complete linebacker" than Reggie Ragland   - Gridiron Now
2)   Senior Spotlight: Reuben Foster   - Roll Bama Roll
3)   Hard work, patience helped Reuben Foster become a star ... again   - ESPN Now
4)   Reuben Foster Twitter
5)   Reuben Foster Instagram






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