A week and a half ago, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch told KNBR that the team had conducted their first official pre-draft visit the previous day. On Tuesday at the NFL owners’ meetings he told the 49ers beat writers that Reuben Foster was that visit. He also said that Foster is the only official visit thus far out of the 30 each NFL team is allotted.
Foster has been viewed by some as the second best defensive prospect in this year’s draft class, behind only Myles Garrett. The big question has been off the field. He had rotator cuff surgery prior to the 2017 NFL Combine, but it was the Combine that raised some questions. He got into a heated argument with someone on the medical staff, and was asked to leave the Combine. He spoke to teams about it at the Alabama Pro Day, but the topic is certainly something that will come up in any of his official visits.
The 49ers have a linebacker need with NaVorro Bowman coming off an Achilles injury, Ahmad Brooks getting up there in age, and Malcolm Smith having his own share of question marks. If they decide Foster is the best talent available, he would certainly fit needs, but they would also need to figure out if he has the right temperament to handle the NFL. You can’t tell everything from an official visit, but it is a chance to speak with Foster and see what he has to say about the incident. I’m sure he was fully prepared with an answer, but I would think the 49ers would try and throw him off his game a bit and see how he responds to something a bit more spontaneous.
The 49ers and each NFL team is allowed 30 official visits where they can bring a player to the team facility. An exception to this is the local Pro Day. That involves the team bringing in players who went to college or high school in their region. The 49ers could bring in Davis Webb for their local Pro Day, and it would not count as one of their 30 official visits.