Linebacker to Watch in 2018: Reuben Foster
Hopefully his 2018 offseason conflicts behind him, Reuben Foster is now poised to be one of the premier linebackers in the NFL.
An ankle injury limited him to just 10 games his rookie year, likely costing him a shot at the 2017 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Still, there’s little questioning how big an impact he had for San Francisco. Despite missing six games, Foster still finished second on the 49ers defense with 59 tackles. And Pro Football Focus ranked him the No. 4 overall linebacker in the league last season.
And not just among rookies. All linebackers.
Staying healthy will be a major point of emphasis for Foster this season. But if he’s on the field for the remaining 14 games, the Niners defense may resemble days not long ago when the team boasted one of the best linebacker tandems in recent NFL history.
Yes, that’s Foster’s trajectory — not far off from former San Francisco great, Patrick Willis.
"I love what Reuben Foster brings to the field. I think, in this defense, in year two, you’re going to see him go to superstar level. Reuben Foster is going to be the gold standard for linebacker play in the next coming years."
Consider this too. Last year, when Foster was on the field, his supporting cast at the position was both thin and nowhere near the level of effectiveness it should be in 2018. This resulted in Foster being forced to “clean up” a lot of plays, whereas the current cast should only serve to bolster his playmaking abilities.
Yes, it all should be fun to watch.