The Lions hosted the best linebacker prospect in the draft this week.
Now that the Pro Day circuit is over, the Detroit Lions are well underway with their 30 allotted pre-draft visits. Each NFL team is allowed to host up to 30 prospects for a private visit, and the Lions have brought in one of the best defensive players in the draft. According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, Detroit hosted linebacker Reuben Foster late last week:
LB Reuben Foster is having a pre-draft visit with #Lions today, source said. He already had NFL Combine recheck before visiting Lions.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 14, 2017
Foster is a very intriguing prospect for Detroit especially, as most believe him to be the best inside linebacker prospect. CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated all have him ranked as the best linebacker in the draft.
As a result, most mock draft don’t have Foster falling anywhere near the Detroit Lions at 21 overall. However, there are some major concerns about Foster. Most publicly of those concerns was an incident at the NFL Combine, where Foster was thrown out of the event before he could even participate in the drills. While we don’t know exactly what happened that day in Indianapolis, it’s clear that Foster got into an argument and it was contentious enough that it got him thrown out of the event completely.
Additionally, questions have been raised about Foster’s ability to learn the game. He openly admits he has trouble learning the Xs and Os of the game. Here he is talking about that with MMQB:
The major concern with Foster for NFL teams, beyond the off-field questions, is his ability to absorb a playbook. Foster has struggled in interviews with teams who ask him to draw concepts with X’s and O’s. “I’ve been working to get better,” Foster says. “Other people learn different, other people have ADHD, or have a learning disorder. X’s and O’s on boards is hard to do for me. I second-guess myself.”
For those reasons, Foster could unexpectedly fall in this year’s draft. It still seems unlikely he’ll drop to the Lions at 21, but Detroit is doing their due diligence on his undeniable talent. If Foster is still on the board in the late teens of the draft, the Lions could theoretically jump up a few spots and grab the most talented player at their biggest position of need. Of course, it’s just as likely that some of the worries surrounding Foster were confirmed by the pre-draft visit. We will have to wait and see.