Reuben Foster   LB   Alabama  

TALENT
ROUND
1

STRENGTHS
Reuben has Luke Kuechly type linebacker talent. He might not have exactly the same speed but he is close. He shows on film excellent leadership qualities through his play on the field along with solid instincts that will improve with more experience because of his football intelligence. Rueben can play more than one linebacker position in any style of defense. He has enough talent and size to cover those big tight ends and has the speed and agility to play MLB in a Tampa 2 zone style of defense. Reuben does a good job taking on blocks and shedding them to make tackles. He can cover hash mark to hash mark and if you throw a lot of screens and run a lot of sweeps he will make a lot of tackles behind the line of scrimmage against you. He is mentally tough and is a wrap up tackler and a coach on the field. I have no doubt that like Panthers Luke Kuechly and Cowboys Sean Lee; Rueben will be the core player of a playoff defense.

CONCERNS
Rueben is not a hand on the ground OLB/DE type of linebacker because he doesnít have very many ďpass rushingĒ moves but Iím sure if thatís what you asked of him that he would find a way to do it. He can rush the passer but from off the line of scrimmage, not from a three point stance or standing on the line up against a big offensive tackle.

BOTTOM LINE
Not being an OLB/DE for a 3/4 defense could affect his draft status but personally I think that would be a ridicules excuse to pass on Rueben for your defense. Sean Lee didnít get selected until the 2nd round because of his size and injury history but Luke was the 9th player selected in the 2012 draft. My guess is look for Reuben to be selected at some point between those two and at some point in the first round. At least thatís how I would rate him. He has that type talent to make the players around him better and for personally; I donít pass on that type of talent just because heís not a great three point stance pass rusher. Those guys donít run your defense on the field and DuhÖ Rueben can run your defense. I think thatís pretty important but then again you know how much NFL coaches love a pass rusher!

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2017