Key Additions: Fred Warner, Koorey Toomer
South Bound & Down
The 49ers sure are glad second-year linebacker Reuben Foster‘s off-field transgressions didn’t develop into anything more than a whirlwind story. And while he may still face a suspension from the NFL, it won’t be too long. Perhaps a game or two.
On the field, Foster is an elite-level talent. His 90.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade ranked fourth among all qualifying linebackers and best among rookies. As long as he can stay healthy, there’s no doubt San Francisco has a perennial All-Pro in the making.
Yet the Niners linebacking corps should be stronger all around this year. After missing 2017 with a pectoral injury, Malcolm Smith returns to the fray. And he’ll be joined by BYU rookie Fred Warner, whom the 49ers selected in Round 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Adding former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer in free agency should help with depth as well.
That depth was a key problem for San Francisco last season. Yet the Niners’ moves in 2018 have turned this group into one of the more potent and deep on the entire roster.
The 49ers linebackers aren’t quite reminiscent of the days of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. But nearly any other team in the league would be happy to boast a group of the kind San Francisco has now.
Easy A-grade here.