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Three SEC players named Reuben Foster the best player they have faced

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If Foster can get on the field to start the season, it will be a big boost for the evolving 49ers defense.

In the next eight days, we’ll start to get a better idea of how soon San Francisco 49ers first round pick Reuben Foster will be ready to practice. He has been rehabbing a rotator cuff that resulted in pre-Combine surgery, and questions persisted through the draft as to whether or not he might need more surgery.

The sooner they do get Foster on the field, the better. He is undeniably talented, and some of his former competitors have voiced that opinion. Last week at SEC Media Day, we learned that Arkansas center Frank Ragnow said Foster was the best defensive player he had faced to date.

It turns out Ragnow was not the only player to mention Foster as the best. It turns out NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread asked 20 players who was the best player they’ve ever competed against. Foster led the way with three votes. Jamal Adams, Derek Barnett, Tre'Davious White, and Quincy Wilson all got two votes. Of that group, all but one were first round picks, with Wilson going in the second round.

The 49ers will run players through physicals next Thursday when they arrive. The team has been optimistic about his recovery, and the physical at the start of training camp will clarify some things. Foster was doing individual work in OTAs and minicamp, although multiple reports had him putting some extra effort into hitting the tackling dummies.

Foster has been doing work at the team’s facility since the end of minicamp, and his shoulder seems to be in good shape. I would imagine the team will not rush him back at the start of camp, but if the shoulder is progressing like we are hearing, he should be doing full drills sooner rather than later.