Name: Reuben Foster
Ht/Wt: 6-0, 229
40 dash and measurables: Foster did not work out for teams in the pre-draft process due to a shoulder injury that required surgery after the season that he’s still rehabbing.
How he fits: He brings immediate toughness and playmaking ability to the linebacker position. When Foster hits a ball carrier, said ball carrier tends not to forget it.
He won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, leading the Tide with 115 tackles (13 for loss) including five sacks last season. The Lions need more playmakers at the linebacker position -- they didn’t record a single sack, interception or forced fumble from their linebackers last season -- and Foster is the best linebacker available in this draft.
Foster has range, power, speed and instincts to make an immediate impact in a Teryl Austin-led defense. He can also cover, which was a weakness of Detroit’s linebacking corps a season ago.
He was named as one of the Alabama coaching staff’s defensive players of the week for his performances against USC, at Ole Miss, Kentucky, at Tennessee, Texas A&M, at LSU, against Florida in the SEC Championship and against Washington in the CFP Semifinal.
Key observations: Foster was sent home early from the Combine after getting into an argument with a hospital worker as he waited on his medical testing. There are some off-the-field issues teams have had to sort through.
What they had to say about him: “With all due respect to Myles Garrett and the rest of this dynamic edge rusher class, Foster might just be the most explosive defender in the entire 2017 draft. An intimidating face-up hitter with sideline-to-sideline speed, Foster projects as an immediate difference-maker in the middle in the NFL and a possible top 10 choice.” Rob Rang, CBSSports.com
How he stacks up: By nearly all accounts, Foster is the best linebacker prospect in this draft and a Top-10 talent. Will the injury or off-the-field concerns drop him down? He checks in at No. 7 on NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s list of the Top 50 prospects in this draft. He comes in at No. 10 on CBSSports.com’s list. Scouts Inc. slots Foster in at No. 9 overall.
What he had to say: “I can’t wait for this all to be over,” Foster told the Monday Morning Quarterback of the pre-draft process, “So I can settle down and just play football.”