No. 2: 49ers take a chance on Reuben Foster and get burned
A little more recent 49ers history here.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Niners already traded down from No. 2 overall one spot in a deal with the Chicago Bears to land defensive end Solomon Thomas. While that deal didn’t work out to the max for both teams, at least San Francisco used one of those picks on linebacker Fred Warner a year later.
So, in that sense, the 49ers still won that trade.
Yet there was plenty of sudden excitement later in Round 1 long after most fans were convinced the Niners were finished selecting. In order to jump ahead of the No. 32 overall-drafting New Orleans Saints, San Francisco moved back into the first round at No. 31 overall to grab a free-falling first-round player in Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.
Foster, whose talents warranted top-10 consideration, nevertheless came with red flags surrounding his injury history and off-field character concerns.
Never mind, though. Foster would thrive with the 49ers, right? He’d be the latest in a long line of exceptional Niners linebackers.
In his rookie year, this looked to be the case. But heading into 2018, Foster was already dealing with off-field arrests and run-ins with the law, eventually leading to his dismissal from the team in November of that year.
Not even two years into his pro career, creating quite the disappointment among the San Francisco Faithful.