49ers rolled dice on Reuben Foster, and lost

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The warning signs were there, from the moment Reuben Foster became one of the very rare draft prospects to be sent home from the Scouting Combine. Concerns about his temperament and a dilute urine sample (which counted as a positive drug test) caused plenty of teams to steer clear of the former Alabama linebacker.

But not the 49ers. After landing him at the bottom of round one, the 49ers boasted that they would have taken Foster with the third overall pick in the draft, if the Bears had selected Solomon Thomas in the wake of a San Fran/Chicago flip-flop of the second and third overall picks.

Foster retained a high level of esteem among the 2017 draft prospects even after the 49ers explored all of the various red flags and rabbit holes of Foster’s character.

I’m proud of that,” G.M. John Lynch said last year regarding the vetting of Foster. “We were exhaustive in our getting to know the kid. We met with him at the Combine. We had him out here for a visit. Kyle [Shanahan] and I both spent a lot of time on the phone with him, facetiming. And then, I think when we really started to zero in and get really serious, we sent [vice president of football affairs] Keena Turner and Pastor Earl [Smith] down to Tuscaloosa to meet with Reuben for two days and they had a tremendous visit.”

So now the 49ers, who made an unconventional decision to pluck Lynch from the broadcast booth despite no scouting experience, need to make some tough internal assessments regarding how they got it so wrong with Foster. Because they clearly did, getting only 16 games out of a player they’d hoped would become a cornerstone of the team’s defense for years to come.

18 responses to “49ers rolled dice on Reuben Foster, and lost

  1. The decision to hire Lynch as GM was probably worse than the decision to draft Foster. No front office experience whatsoever. Another Jed York blunder. Sell the team back to DeBartolo.

  2. These teams will only do the diligence that they want to get the answer that they want. They ignored all of the flags in the name of getting the talent that they wanted, all in the name of spinning it to the public. They got what they asked for: a first-round bust.

  3. First off they completely fleased the Bears in the 2 for 3 trade no matter how the players drafted ended up, that was an all time great trade getting two third round and a fourth round pick to move down one spot was a great move and more the bears being idiots then anything else.

    That being said it was always a red flag when the 49ers said they were going to draft a player a #3 that literally no other team had in their top 20.

    If the 49ers didn’t get the Jimmy G trade and have that five game winning streak to end last season both Kyle and John would be on the hot seat.

  4. What does “fleased” mean? If you mean “fleece”, you’re wrong.

    The 49ers took the Bears pick at #3 and then drafted Solomon Thomas, who has accomplished nothing. Great job 49ers.

    The 49ers then used some of the loot from the Bears to trade UP to draft Foster. He’s now off of the team. Great job 49ers.

    Then the 49ers traded the 3rd rounder from the Bears to the Saints – who drafted Alvin Kamara. Great job 49ers.

  5. That’s exactly what teams do every year, roll the dice. No matter what comes out of these kids’ mouths while being interviewed none of it matters until they are on a team and exposed for what they really are. So what does that even say for all the hours of background study, interviews with coaches, friends, families? Are they all just wasting time and money in delving this deep or are they just supposing if they don’t do their due diligence and something goes wrong the public and media sentiment will scorch them? In this case they rolled craps but do we really know how many turn out positive? But really, you had to get rid of this kid. Maybe he’ll end up in the AAF.

  6. Someone was going to take Foster in that draft, maybe not in the first round but
    someone was going to take a chance on him.
    Your team, my team…. someone was going to take him.
    And some team is going to take another chance on him.

  7. Many first round guys don’t pan out, and front office experience is overrated. It’s guys with experience that had them doing a GM search in the first place.

  8. I love how these teams think because they interview players a few times that they really know them. Anyone can act like a good person for a few hours.

  9. I wonder if he’s still proud of the vetting they did on him now. Let’s be honest, they ignored everything because they wanted to draft him so bad. They thought they could rehabilitate him and live with his character issues. They were wrong. Now Lynch looks like a buffoon. The shoe fits.

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