Well, this is very intriguing:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2017
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster had dinner with the Chicago Bears’ staff on Sunday and is visiting the team on Monday. The Bears have the third overall pick, but have yet to be linked with Foster on the rumor mill. Even still, Foster is a very talented player who played stout defense on one of the nation’s best units.
“Foster is a vicious hitter with elite playmaking range and an ability to toggle between 225 and 240 pounds. Athleticism gives him cover ability that former teammate Reggie Ragland never possessed. Has Pro Bowl potential as a 3-4 inside linebacker or a 4-3 weak-side linebacker, but concerns over his medical history could be a consideration, according to some teams.”
While the Bears seem mostly set at inside linebacker, it’s worth mentioning that Danny Trevathan ended the 2016 season on injured reserve with a patellar tendon tear. It was an injury deemed so severe, the Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell wrote that the injury clouded Trevathan’s training camp status. If it turns out that Trevathan’s injury is a long-term concern, targeting a player of Foster’s caliber makes a world of sense.
Even though Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett is the consensus top pick by a vast majority of NFL analysts, ESPN’s Todd McShay thinks Foster might be the best pure player in the draft.
More tape I watch ('15-16) more I think Ala. LB Foster is best pure football player in this draft. If he handles his biz, special NFL player
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 17, 2017
The Crimson Tide linebacker made headlines for the wrong reasons at the NFL Combine when he was sent home after a reported altercation with a hospital employee. He downplayed the events that led to his dismissal from the Combine, but it doesn’t look like it will effect his draft status too much.
After all, Foster is a top-10 talent who could be a playmaker for any defense. And even if he doesn’t fit an obvious need for the Bears (and picking him third might be a stretch), he’s a potential difference-maker – and the team needs those types of players wherever they can find one.