Lacks speed to stay with running backs and tight ends
Summary: Mason Foster saw action starting as a freshman for the Huskies, and went out on a high note recording more tackles (163) in his senior campaign than any Pac-10 player in over 20 years for a single season. He also owned the Holiday Bowl as Washington avenged a blowout loss to Nebraska with a stunning win.
While Foster has experience at all three linebacker spots in a 4-3 and has potential inside in a 3-4, it is unclear which position suits him best. He is not a terrorizing pass rusher on the outside, and not overly athletic or tall enough as a 4-3 weakside linebacker should be. However, he filled up the stat sheet on an otherwise poor defense and should continue to get better in whatever role awaits him in the NFL. The safest bet might be inside an odd front.
Player Comparison: London Fletcher. When I think of undersized tackling machines, London Fletcher comes to mind. Mason Foster is in some ways similar. Neither player wowed Al Davis in the 40 (Fletcher was a low 4.7 although he did not attend the Combine) but their instincts carry them to the football. Obviously Fletcher playing at a small school and lacking measurable attributes caused him to slide out of the draft altogether. Foster garnered more attention in the Pac-10 and is a solid Day 2 selection.
Walt, your grade on the Earl Michell pickup by SF is off completely. Yes while he isn't a big threat in terms of DT look at all the defensive tackles, san francisco has? its mainly dial and purcell who have been doing the work and they need somebody else on that line. So this is easily a C+ or B- grade Free agent. While Mitchell did deal with injuries recently, SF is adding to the depth and at this point its a good pickup.