Not even the most prized recruit in his own family (wide receiver
Armanti, his twin brother, was), D'Onta and his brother chose to
remain in state and attend Texas after the former was ranked no
better than the 67th-best running back prospect by a number of high-profile
recruiting services. He provided modest contributions as a freshman
behind Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray as a freshman in 2014, playing
in seven games and logging only 15 carries for 73 yards. He managed
to lead the Longhorns in rushing the following year with 681 yards
on only 95 carries across 10 games (missed the last two with a wrist
injury). Prior to the injury, Foreman began to show off his knack
for explosive runs, gouging Oklahoma for an 81-yard burst before
ripping off a 93-yard score less than a month later during a 157-yard,
two-score performance against Kansas. Simply put, he put the offense
on his back in 2016, averaging an FBS-best 184.4 yards per game
- the 10th-highest mark in NCAA history for a single season. Despite
missing an early game against UTEP with a hamstring injury, he piled
up 2,023 rushing yards - the 23rd-best mark in Division I history.
Foreman also tallied 15 career 100-yard rushing games, including
a school-record 13 straight to end his college career. For his efforts,
he won the 2016 Doak Walker Award and became the first Longhorn
since Ricky Williams (1998) to be named a consensus first-team All-American.
High-end NFL Player Comp(s):LeGarrette Blount Low-end NFL Player Comp(s):
Best Scheme Fit: Offenses
willing and/or wanting to employ power-based blocking schemes
and/or inside zone runs. While he possesses the size and stamina
to be a featured back, he will need to be in a committee - at
least early in his career - based on his shortcomings in the passing
game. Note: All times listed in parentheses
in strengths/weaknesses section reflect the start time on video
- via Draft Breakdown - that displays that skill/trait.
Proved capable of handling a massive workload every week,
handling at least 21 carries in all but one game and topping
out with 51 against Kansas; recorded at least 31 attempts in
each of his last five games.
Better feet and more lateral agility/athleticism than most
expect from a bigger back. (1:30,
Tree trunks for legs make him nearly impossible to bring down
below the waist; grinding and physical runner (0:13,
who bulldozes and/or takes linebackers and defensive backs for
a ride on a regular basis. (0:13,
Gives blockers time to get into position and aware enough
of his surroundings not to run into their backs (9:50);
able to bounce in and out of seams and patient enough to wait
for the hole to develop (0:26,
Has the vision to recognize the backside cutback lane (0:28,
the balance to keep his feet in the hole (2:36,
and enough explosion to pay it off.
Ball security (0:52,
is a concern, especially for a player with such big hands, because
he doesn't make much of an attempt to keep it high and tight;
fumble percentages in 2017 (1.8) and over his career (1.7) are
both marginal at best.
Doesn't back down from contact but will occasionally play
with more finesse than most coaches want from a bigger back.
Not slow by any means, but he doesn't play close to his timed
Relies too much on size to play through contact and needs
to have his feet moving at all times, not just after taking
Although he appeared to have soft hands on the few opportunities
he received in 2016, he contributed virtually nothing to the
passing game over three college seasons (13 career catches).
Doesn't appear to recognize who he needs to block quickly
enough, nor does he appear to be an overly ambitious or capable
Foreman appeared to drop a fair amount of weight during the season.
In the first game, he looked every bit of the 250 pounds his school
bio says he was. By the end of the first month, it was obvious
he was working more in the 230-pound range, and the big plays
started to come with more regularity. If the latter version of
Foreman is the one NFL teams are getting, then some team will
probably be getting itself a steal, certainly as long as it remembers
he is ideally suited to be an early-down pounder. Why is that?
Either Texas had no interest in allowing its supposed best offensive
player to work in the passing game or it already knew he had no
business doing so. Furthermore, Foreman is probably the worst
blocker I have seen among running backs in some time; he actually
looks lost or as if he could care less when it comes to pass protection.
Before officially evaluating Foreman, I wondered how a big back
with such light feet could be considered a potential late-Day
2 pick instead of a top-50 selection. For all the reasons I mentioned
in the previous paragraph, it didn't take long to figure it out.
Foreman appears destined to be a two-down back who may make his
living as a goal-line/short-yardage hammer as well as in the four-minute
drill, although that last area may be a stretch considering his
fumbling woes. As a player with limited experience in the passing
game and an indifferent attitude toward blocking, he has no business
playing more than half of his team's offensive snaps. He doesn't
enter the league with the "behavioral" baggage Blount
did, so he does have that working in his favor.
Foreman reported after the season he played with a broken hand
during the season, which would certainly begin to explain the
fumbling issues. Also note I said nothing about him having bad
hands, but rather he wasn't given much of a chance to show them
off. The unwillingness and inability to block are huge negatives,
however, enough so teams would be wise to wait until at least
the third round to select him. He's nowhere close to being a foundation
or every-down back and his "bust factor" at the next
level is relatively high. Like many players, his "weaknesses"
can be overcome, but he's going to need some time to develop if
he hopes to enjoy Blount's staying power in the NFL.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.