By most accounts, the 49ers were fortunate to select star Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster with the 31st pick of the NFL Draft Thursday night.
But at least one report suggests that maybe Foster wasn’t worth the risk.
According to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, there are some real concerns with Foster, aside from the already reported shoulder issues, a diluted sample at the combine (that landed him in the NFL’s drug program), and an incident with a hospital worker there. One team tells Pelissero it feels that Foster needs another surgery to fix his torn rotator cuff. Another team doesn’t see how Foster’s shoulder will be able to withstand the rigors of the NFL for long.
Even more sobering for the 49ers and their fans are the questions some NFL insiders have about Foster off the field.
“You better have a Dez Bryant-like infrastructure around him,” one NFL scout said, referring to the Cowboys star receiver, who owner Jerry Jones made sure was surrounded by team-assigned handlers early in his career.
Take Our PollNone of this is news to the 49ers, who have done their due diligence with Foster and are obviously confident the fleet linebacker will fit in just fine.
“He’s my kind of player, sideline-to-sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “That’s contagious.”
For his part, Foster is ready to make amends for his mistakes away from the field.
“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I’ve got big things to prove,” Foster told reporters Thursday night. “People think about stuff off the field but I’ve got to show them how serious I take my job.”