Linebacker Reuben Foster
Don’t let the draft-day slide of Reuben Foster mar your thinking of the linebacker. The Alabama product is one of the most devastating hitters from this past draft class. A visual representation of this, courtesy of our own James LeBreton:
Even with the free-agent signing of linebacker Malcolm Smith, Foster is going to be making a name for himself. I mean, this is easily a guy who could have been drafted No. 3 overall — at least according to the 49ers themselves. His tenaciousness, relentlessness, aggressiveness, it’s all reminiscent of a former San Francisco linebacker, one who played in the SEC too. And Foster is trying to emulate that certain player:
Only time will tell if Foster can reach that pinnacle Willis did, and if his shoulder can hold up doing so. That’s going to be the biggest question surrounding Foster this upcoming season, his health. I’m going to ride with head coach Kyle Shanahan here, and hinge this prediction on the assumption that No. 56 is fully healthy for the season and plays all 16 games.
Prediction — 85 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception