D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
Weight: 233 pounds
(Foreman didn’t test at the Combine because of a foot stress fracture. These are Pro Day numbers.):
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds
Vertical: 33 inches
Foreman arrived at UT in 2014 with his brother, the more prized recruit. He spent his 1st 2 years as a reserve, seeing increased playing time as a sophomore but losing the final 2 games of that season to a wrist injury.
Last year marked a big-time breakout, though.
The junior led the nation in carries per game (29.4) and yards per game (184.4), while ranking 3rd in total rushing attempts and 2nd in ground yards. Foreman averaged at least 4.5 yards per carry in each of Texas’ 11 games, topping 5.0 in 8 of them and 6.0 five times. He rushed for at least 124 yards in every outing.
Foreman’s efforts earned him the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top RB.
After playing between 240 and 245 pounds at Texas, Foreman said he started eating better and trimmed down before the Scouting Combine.
(Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com)
Games watched: Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kansas
I usually make a point to watch at least 4 games (when 4+ are available) for evaluating any player in this series. But I felt comfy stopping at 3 with Foreman for a couple of reasons.
1) He amassed 111 carries over just the 3 contests I watched. That’s a lot more carries than a 3-game sample will give you for pretty much any other back.
2) I believe I can tell what he is.
Foreman’s a big back (duh) who shows off his power at times and flashes unexpected agility. He also looks inconsistent (at best) with his vision and patience behind the line.
You expect to see a 233-pound runner do things like this …
Folks who have watched much more Foreman tape than I have (I assume) agree that the former Longhorn needs to improve his patience behind the line, allowing for blocks to set up. But Foreman will forego the dancing of some other runners and plow ahead for that 1st down when you need it.
That’s especially important here. Because the only way he’s making it onto the field for 3rd down is if you’re handing the ball to him.
Even while carrying 323 times for Texas last season, Foreman managed only 7 receptions—and 3 of those came in a single game. The Longhorns completed just 2 other passes to RBs for the year, so it wasn’t as though they favored another back over Foreman in the passing game. And no Texas RB caught more than 6 balls in 2015. But HC Charlie Strong’s 1st team, in 2014, completed 36 throws to its top 2 backs (Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray).
Foreman also has a lot of work to do before he’ll get on the field to protect his QB. That’s the book on him in scouting reports, and watching game tape will reveal a disinterested blocker.
That would have been a fine move if he’d been playing tag. But you probably noticed that the defender Foreman slapped went on to put his QB down.
OK, so he’ll be an early down back. Maybe. But the NFL isn’t nearly so simple as run-run-pass anymore. Foreman has plenty of work to do before he’ll stay on the field with any consistency.
The tools are there for the work, though. The size is an obvious plus. Foreman doesn’t look nearly as fast as the reported 4.45-second 40 from his Pro Day suggests, but there’s enough speed to get by. We’ll see if the lighter weight brings out a bit more speed.
Foreman also flashes nice agility for a big back.
Foreman’s combo of size and agility produced 64 missed tackles for the year, according to Pro Football Focus, the 4th-largest tally in the nation.
That said, he also fumbled quite a bit—7 times, losing 6 of them. Another issue to work through.
Someone already bought all the ingredients, and someone has started cooking the meal. The kitchen’s smelling pretty good. But the dish needs a lot more time.
If you read up on Foreman, you might find comparisons to players such as Jonathan Stewart and Steven Jackson. Don’t expect to get that player in 2017. That’s a look at the ceiling—and he’ll probably never approach the receiving upside of Jackson.
You shouldn’t overrate the 2016 production and the size-speed combo that testing season revealed if you’re considering Foreman as a 2017 redraft option, regardless of who drafts him.
Take the long view here, and pay attention to the cook responsible for finishing this dish. With all the cooking time left, the potential could still wind up burned.
Foreman looks like a 2nd-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts.