Barring anything unforeseen, Alabama LB Reuben Foster will become the next top-50 selection in April's draft that played collegiate football for the Crimson Tide.
"Foster is the best linebacker I've ever seen come out of Alabama," Bleacher Report's Matt Miller told Eric Allen at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I've been doing this job six years for Bleacher Report, and I would take Reuben Foster over C.J. Mosley. He is a special player."
The 6'0", 229-pound Foster certainly has an impressive résumé.
In addition to his team-leading 115 tackles in 2016 and unanimous first-team All-American selection, he won the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's top linebacker. He was also the signal caller for the nation's second best defense (261.8 yards per game) that led the country in rush yards allowed (63.9 yards per game) and scoring (13.0 points per game).
Alabama has produced a tremendous amount of NFL talent in recent years, especially at the linebacker position.
- Rolando McClain: No. 8 (2010)
- Dont'a Hightower: No. 25 (2012)
- Courtney Upshaw: No. 35 (2012)
- C.J. Mosley: No. 17 (2014)
- Reggie Ragland: No. 41 (2016)
"Last year we talked up Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack so much," Miller said. "Even Darron Lee was a guy that got talked up a lot. Reuben Foster is in that same tier, especially once the injuries happened to Smith and Jack. He's a special player.
"I know he came in a little light here, but everyone sheds weight at the combine to run fast. He was 229 pounds. NaVorro Bowman is about 240 pounds at 6'0" tall, so I'm confident Reuben Foster can get up to 240. It's not going to be a problem."
A two-year starter in Tuscaloosa, Foster will not participate in positional drills at the Scouting Combine as he is recovering from shoulder surgery. He will, however, be partaking in interviews during his stay in Indianapolis — each NFL team is allowed to speak with 60 prospects for 15 minutes each.
"If you've watched him over the last two years, he's a heat-seeking missile when he goes to find the ball," Miller said. "Special player with great traits, too. Everyone you talk to says he's wired right. He's going to be a leader from day one, he loves football and you don't have to worry about him off the field."
Note: According to an NFL spokesman, Foster was sent home from the Combine on Friday evening for "personal reasons".