We spend a great deal of time here at Big Blue View talking about the perceived weakness at linebacker of the New York Giants. So, when I have had opportunities to talk with NFL Draft analysts leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft -- which begins Thursday -- the linebacker situation is always one that I ask about.
The name that keeps coming up in terms of a player who could help the Giants is Washington's Mason Foster. I had a chance to talk with Foster earlier this week as he was gracious enough to give me a few minutes of his time.
Foster [full profile] said his only contact with the Giants came during a meeting with team representatives during the NFL Scouting Combine. He knows enough about the Giants and New York to say "I think I would fit in well."
Draft Preview: Mason Foster (via foxsports)
The draft analysts I have spoken to wholeheartedly agree.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post on Foster:
"He gives you versatility. I've talked to scouts and most of them feel like he's a better weak-side guy, but some feel like he can play on the strong. Some think he's the best middle linebacker in the draft. So he gives you three spots where you can fill him," Bunting said.
"He's not overly big, he's not overly physical, he's not overly fast. He's just good enough in all three areas and he tackles well, finds the football and has a good feel in zone coverage. He's gonna be a guy that will start 6-8 years for you in the league and he can come in pretty early in his rookie year and start in that linebacking corps."
Scott Wright of Draft Countdown on Foster:
"The guy I would watch for if I were the Giants is Mason Foster. He's a guy I really, really like," Wright said. "Just a really good football player. He played SAM, WILL and MIKE during his college career, just kind of glides around the field. He's always around the action. He's a vocal leader.
"If I was the Giants that's a guy I would be targeting."
Depending who you talk to, Foster is seen as a player who could go anywhere from early in the second round to somewhere in the third. Foster says only that he is anticipating being taken on Day 2 of the draft, when the second and third rounds will be held.
"I just want to get a chance to play," he said.
I asked Foster to self-scout, to tell us what he thinks of Mason Foster the football player. Here was his response:
"I like to see myself as a passionate, real enthusiastic guy that plays with a very high motor. Do whatever I can to help the team win," Foster said.
"I try to study as much film as possible and rely on my instincts a lot. I played linebacker my whole life, I have a good feel for the game. Played all three positions. I just try to get out there and whatever I can to help the team win, just flowing sideline to sideline making plays, using my instincts and just trying to get to the ball."
Foster said it really did not matter which linebacker position he played.
"I've had success at all three," he said."I feel comfortable at all three."
The visits and team workouts are now over with. So, how is Foster prepping for the draft. He is working out, hanging out with friends and "trying to go through the week like it's a regular week."
For Foster, that means lots of movies and lots of 'Madden.'
"I'm a big movie guy. The weather's not too nice out here (Seattle) so for the most part I'm in the house watching movies, playing Madden or watching the NFL Network ... just hanging out with my good friends," Foster said.
Foster's favorite football movie? 'The Program,' which he says he will definitely be watching between now and the draft. We will just have to wait and see if his journey leads him to the Giants.