The Pro Football Writers Association of America this week named Reuben Foster to the annual All-Rookie team. The talented linebacker was the only 49ers rookie to get recognized despite a San Francisco putting together a solid class of first-year players.

Foster was limited to 10 games because of ankle, rib and back injuries, and he dealt with multiple shoulder stingers late in the season. But he was among the league’s best linebackers when he was on the field.

Pro Football Focus ranked Foster fourth among all linebackers, behind only former defensive player of the year Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner and Lavonte David. Foster finished as San Francisco’s highest-graded player, according to the scouting service.

The defensive team, from the PFWA:

The All-Rookie defense includes defensive linemen Derek Barnett of the Philadelphia Eagles, Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns, Carl Lawson of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Giants’ Dalvin Tomlinson, Detroit’s Jarrad Davis, Rueben Foster of the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt at linebacker, Lattimore and the Buffalo Bills’ Tre’Davious White at cornerback and the New York Jets’ Jamal Adams and Williams at safety.

Foster was second on the 49ers with 72 tackles, seven for loss and five quarterback hits. His ascension led to San Francisco releasing four-time All-Pro NaVorro Bowman six weeks into the season. Foster is considered a centerpiece of the reconstructed defense after 2017 was spent retooling the roster in Kyle Shanahan’s first season as coach.

Foster might be subject to discipline, however, following his arrest in Alabama last week for possession of marijuana. Foster’s off-the-field habits, and durability concerns, played a significant role in falling to the 31st pick in the NFL draft after he was widely considered a top-10 talent. General manager John Lynch said Foster was the third-ranked player on the team’s draft board.

If Foster can stay healthy and out of trouble, the 49ers could have one of the league’s best linebackers for seasons to come.

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