The 49ers took a linebacker in the first round of last year’s draft, but Reuben Foster isn’t with the team for offseason work in the wake of his arrest following an alleged domestic violence incident with his girlfriend in February.
Foster faces three felony charges as a result of the incident and he’s had other off-field issues that make it hard for the 49ers to count on him as a building block for their defense. That could lead them to another linebacker in the first round this year.
One possibility if the team goes in that direction with the ninth overall selection is Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Smith is visiting with the team at their Santa Clara headquarters on Tuesday.
Smith had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for losses and 6.5 sacks during his final season at Georgia and projects as the kind of playmaker that would help the 49ers defense whether Foster is back with the team later this year or not.