When the 49ers drafted LB Reuben Foster late in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft, they were happy to take a chance on a player that had off the field questions, but was an absolute stud linebacker for Alabama. He failed a drug test and was kicked out of the NFL combine because of an altercation with a hospital worker. He was viewed as a top 10 talent, but his issues meant he fell down the draft board and the 49ers made a trade to pick him at #31.
Reuben proved his talent on the football field. He was November’s rookie of the month in the league and he ranked 2nd in tackles on the 49ers. He had issues staying healthy all season, but he showed flashes of being a top tier middle linebacker. According to Pro Football Focus, Reuben was the 4th overall ranked linebacker behind Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, and Lavonte David. On Tuesday, he was named on the All-Rookie team voted by the Pro Football Writers’ Association of America. He was the only 49ers rookie named and he follows in the footsteps of DeForest Buckner, who was named last season.
Following his arrest last week, the 49ers will hope that Reuben learns his lesson and matures before next season. When he is on the field, he is a difference maker on the defense, but off the field issues will limit his ability to be on the field. If he is able to stay on the field, he could be a cornerstone for the 49ers defense for many years.
Ready for the offseason (Wagoner)
Fast decision by Ken | Ken Norton Jr off to Seattle (Durkee)
One week and gone (Maiocco)
Looking to build on his rookie year | Kittle ready for year 2 (Williams)
Decision will affect his money | Foster’s salary guarantees (Maiocco)
Great recognition | Named to All-Rookie team (Maiocco)
Very deserving for the best rookie linebacker | PFWA all-rookie team (Branch)
The Foster issue (Barrows)
Only 49ers rookie to win award (Biderman)
Top storylines (49ers staff)
Award for rookie (Fann)
Needs to be a leader | Reuben’s immaturity (Cohn)
Pieces in the offseason (Biderman)
Insider podcast (49ers audio)