5. Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
Inside linebacker isn’t necessarily a pressing need on the Packers roster. Jake Ryan is a reliable run defender and two-down player. When healthy, Blake Martinez has shown flashes of three-down ability. Joe Thomas is also an athletic talent and can hold his own in coverage.
However, linebackers like Foster rarely come along. He’s currently one of my top-five graded players in the draft class. He does everything at the position well, and that is not an exaggeration. Perhaps since Luke Kuechly, I haven’t seen such a complete linebacker prospect.
Foster runs sideline-to-sideline and makes plays. He’s a force between the tackles, and he’s also athletic and fast enough to make plays in coverage.
The Alabama standout is a true three-down linebacker in every sense of the word. He’s a better prospect than even previous standout Alabama linebackers, like Reggie Ragland and C.J. Mosley.
Despite the can’t-miss talent, there’s a chance Foster could fall to the latter half of the first round because many teams have diminished the value of the inside linebacker position.
If Foster happens to be on the board when Green Bay is on the clock, the Packers could select him despite other more pressing needs on the roster. Foster is a difference maker and would be a tremendous pillar to have in the middle of their defense.