No. 3: Linebacker Reuben Foster
The 49ers defense is infinitely better with Foster in the lineup. To put things into perspective, Foster still ranked second on the team in tackles last year (59) despite missing six games his rookie season due to injury.
Pro Football Focus recognized his efforts too, awarding him a 90.7 overall grade — fourth best among all linebackers, not just rookies.
The key now will be Foster staying healthy. He had an injury reputation entering the league, and that’s unfortunately followed him over to the NFL level. Same with the off-field concerns, even if his 2018 issues were largely resolved without much repercussion.
Let’s assume, though, Foster can be a regular contributor on the field for the remaining 14 games of the upcoming year. If that’s the case, there’s little doubt he can reach his first Pro Bowl with relative ease, perhaps even earning first-team All-Pro honors in the process.