Reuben Foster goes No. 31 to San Francisco 49ers in NFL Draft
After a long wait, Reuben Foster is finally off the board. The former Alabama linebacker was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the No. 31 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, becoming the fourth Crimson Tide player to hear his name called Thursday night.
Foster joins Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, Baltimore Ravens), Jonathan Allen (No. 17, Washington Redskins) and O.J. Howard (No. 19, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) as Alabama tied a SEC record with four players selected in the first round.
The 49ers traded with the Seattle Seahawks to move up to the 31st pick.
Foster, the winner of the Butkus Award, earned unanimous All-American honors, leading Alabama with 115 tackles while tallying 13 tackles for a loss, five sacks and eight quarterback hurries. He was also voted as one of Alabama’s four permanent team captains by his teammates.
While there is no question of what the 6-foot, 229-pound linebacker can do on the field, numerous off-the-field issues might have caused Foster to slip in the draft. The linebacker underwent surgery on a torn right rotator cuff earlier this offseason, preventing him from participating in the NFL combine. He was then sent home from the combine after getting into a heated argument with a hospital worker and later admitted to failing a drug test due to a diluted urine sample.
During an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, Foster said his shoulder is at “100 percent” and that he will be ready for training camp. He also defended the failed drug test, attributing it to being sick and drinking an excessive amount of fluids before the combine.
NFL Network reported Thursday night that Foster's medical re-check revealed more serious issues with his shoulder.