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NFL Draft 2018: Reuben Foster felony charges could have major ramifications on Raiders, 49ers

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How do Reuben Foster’s multiple felony charges affect the Raiders and Niners in the upcoming draft?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s draft plans for the San Francisco 49ers may have shifted dramatically on Thursday as the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office dropped a bombshell on the NFL announcing star linebacker Reuben Foster is facing multiple felony charges.

The charges include an allegation that he, “inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon – all felonies. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of large capacity weapon magazine. If convicted, he faces more than 11 years in prison,” per the Santa Clara County news release.

The 49ers released an official statement implying he is still on the team, but that could change at any time if John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan decide keeping Foster on the roster isn’t worth the bad press, among other things.

With Foster’s future in the NFL uncertain, Lynch and Shanahan have to be looking at drafting a linebacker with the ninth overall pick, specifically Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds. It is worth noting that both ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr and Todd McShay mocked Smith to San Francisco on Wednesday, which is curious considering the Foster news dropped the very next day. In their previous mock draft, both of them had Smith going to the Raiders at 10 overall.

This may also impact the Raiders’ draft plans as they were in the market for a linebacker, and Smith was previously the player most mocked to Oakland at No. 10 overall. It is now less likely Smith and/or Edmunds will be available when the Raiders select their first round pick. The Niners select with pick No. 9 after winning the coin toss between the two teams.

The silver lining is that if a star player such as Saquon Barkley, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Bradley Chubb falls to the Niners, they would be far less likely to take them due to their serious need at inside linebacker.

Aside from the direct consequences Foster’s actions have had on himself and those involved, they also have significant implications for the Raiders and 49ers’ draft plans come late-April.