Report: Reuben Foster's shoulder surgery 'didn't take,' led to surprising draft fall
The 49ers still took Foster with the second to last pick of the first round
When the 31st pick of the 2017 NFL Draft came in Thursday night, the consensus was that the 49ers got a steal by drafting ex-Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster that late in the first round. Six days later, that might no longer be a consensus.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Foster -- a top-10 talent before the combine -- fell all the way to No. 31 due to concerns over his right rotator cuff.
Schefter has more:
"The surgery didn't take," said one well-placed source with knowledge of the injury.
Last week, USA Today Sports reported that Foster slipped in the draft because at least one team was concerned he would need additional shoulder surgery.
Another source predicted that Foster would not make it through his rookie season and that the linebacker's shoulder could give out on any hit. The 49ers' doctors, however, are comfortable with the condition of Foster's shoulder, and hopeful it will hold up, though they understand there could be a risk, according to sources.
Of course, injury concerns aren't the only reason Foster fell. His slip began at the combine, when he was sent home after an argument with a hospital worker. He also had a diluted sample drug test at the combine. Throw in the potentially bad shoulder and, well, his fall suddenly makes a whole lot of sense.
But the 49ers were apparently unbothered. They were so unbothered that they were considering taking him No. 3 overall after their trade with the Bears.
They debated, and made sure that if they couldn't find a trading partner to move down from three, they were comfortable taking Foster — with a questionable shoulder and a positive combine test for a diluted drug sample — with the third overall pick, if the Bears took Solomon.
The Bears ended up shocking the world by drafting Mitch Trubisky. The 49ers followed that up selected Thomas and then traded back into the first round to snag Foster.
Despite the injury concerns, the 49ers' decision to trade up for Foster wasn't necessarily a bad one. As our R.J. White wrote earlier Wednesday, "the trade up was a necessity to land Foster, as the Saints, who had the No. 32 pick, were on the phone with the linebacker welcoming him to the team as the 49ers pulled the trigger on the deal."
White, who ranked all of the trades that happened during the draft, placed that 49ers' trade at the top of the list due to Foster's upside as a top-10 talent.
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