The draft is just two days away, and that means that plenty of people are trying to get a good feeling for what each team is wanting to do in the first round.
In that regard, ESPN’s Todd McShay today wrote that the Colts could be the team that takes Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster.
One person I spoke to said the Indianapolis Colts could end up being the parachute pick for Foster at No. 15 overall, given how they're trying to overhaul the defensive side of the ball. If he doesn't go there, the Redskins two picks later could be in play.
It is crucial to keep in mind that at this point in the draft process there is a lot of misinformation, whether that’s simply because of a wrong report or incorrect understanding or because of teams trying to manipulate the draft. But as even Chris Ballard joked last week, “everybody’s lying right now.”
With that caution aside, Todd McShay’s report makes a ton of sense and is very plausible. Reuben Foster has had a rough pre-draft process that has included recovering from a shoulder injury, being sent home from the Combine early, and having a diluted drug test at the Combine. So the question recently has been about how far Foster will fall. Talent-wise, he’s a top-ten (and probably top-five) player in this draft, but some of the other issues could cause him to fall. For a team picking in the middle of the first round (like the Colts), that could be just what is needed for Foster to fall far enough, something that otherwise might not have happened.
The Colts could really use help at inside linebacker, a position that currently will feature competition between Edwin Jackson, Antonio Morrison, Sean Spence, and Jon Bostic. Foster would easily be the best of the group and would provide the defense with a legitimate difference-maker, something they don’t have much of. The thing they’ll have to do is weigh the off-field concerns and determine whether his talent trumps those concerns. That’s something that the team will be able to determine better than we can, since the Colts will have access to much more info and will have been able to talk with Foster.
It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Colts decided to take Reuben Foster in the first round, though. Talent-wise, he would be great value at 15 and would be a huge boost to Indy’s defense. So in that regard, this pre-draft report is at least plausible and believable, whether it turns out to be true or not.
As a senior in 2016, Foster recorded 115 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, five sacks, eight quarterback hits, and two passes defensed for Alabama en route to being named a unanimous All-American and winning the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the country. With Foster as a major part of the defense, Alabama led the country in rushing yards per game allowed and points per game allowed while ranking second in total yards per game allowed.