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HT: Sometimes the best choices in the draft are the players you don’t take

Just one year into his NFL career, a former Broncos Country draft favorite just crashed & burned.

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Let’s turn the clock back to one year ago. The 2017 NFL draft is coming up in a few weeks, and Broncos Country is in the midst of the traditional debate over who the team should take. There’s an obvious hole in the roster at left tackle, and the draft interest tracker is showing visits with all three potential 1st round OTs. Garett Bolles has made his impression on the coaches & front office, and in a few weeks he’ll be pulling a Rafiki on national television with an orange & blue jersey in hand.

NFL Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

But though Bolles would end up being the Broncos’ choice with the 20th overall pick, there were plenty of Broncos fans who went to bed upset that a different name wasn’t scribbled on that draft card: Reuben Foster.

Foster, then a punishing senior linebacker out of Alabama, was sliding down the draft board in response to several issues. Questions about his durability and prior injuries were compounded by serious character concerns. The most prominent of those was an angry outburst at combine medical personnel after Foster tired of waiting in line.

Foster, now a 2nd year 49ers linebacker endured a rookie season plagued by constant stingers. But it’s not a trip to the medical tent that has put his 2018 season- and perhaps his career- in jeopardy. No, that’s all on him and his own poor choices.

Yesterday, Foster was arraigned on three felony charges stemming from a February fight in which he beat his girlfriend badly. The assault brings to mind the video that broke several years ago of former NFL running back Ray Rice punching out his wife in an elevator. Foster faces severe repercussions, from the NFL and more importantly from the criminal justice system.

It’s safe to say that John Elway and the Denver Broncos dodged a bullet last April 27th. In the span of a year Reuben Foster has gone from talented prospect with significant questions to cautionary tale. But it’s the 49ers, not the Broncos, who will have to deal with the fallout. And while questions remain about whether or not Garett Bolles will develop into a true franchise left tackle, in this case at least it’s safe to say that best decision John Elway made that day was to not call in Foster’s name instead.

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By Ryan Quigley@RP_Quigs Apr 12, 2018, 12:00pm EDT