A little spoken about 2017 NFL Draft ‘throwback’ who will surprise on Sundays in the NFL.
The big, powerful and impressively strong ‘throwback’ of a running back, D’Onta Foreman had nothing short of a sensational, rambunctious junior campaign in Austin. Still just an underclassman, Charlie Strong’s disappointing dismissal as a head coach during the latter part of 2016 certainly made his mind set on leaving the Longhorns at the season’s conclusion.
As a running back, I am never against a highly productive talent entering the NFL a year early, thus saving him further wear and tear as the Texas feature back, who has put his team on his back this season in what was, despite all the off-field furore that often follows the program, one of progress. A Texas City talent, Foreman packs a dangerous combination of quickness and power, boasting excellent strength in his legs. Foreman is able to utilise his power to hit the hole quickly and have the speed to hit the outside despite his considerable size.
The junior certainly has no problem getting to the sideline and taking defences apart, as he has shown time and again this season. Such was his breakout success in 2016/17, he placed his name in Longhorns folklore, joining former great Earl Campbell as just the second running back to have achieved 13 consecutive 100-yard plus performances to close out his collegiate career.
In fact, he came oh-so close to breaking former great Ricky Williams’ single game rushing record (350 yards) in the week 10 demolition of Texas Tech, falling just 9 yards short, but still amassing 341 yards on 33 carries and 3 touchdowns on the day.
The offense depended on the junior with a heavy dose of his powerful running and carried a heavy load (323 carries this season), whereas he was lightly used as a pass catcher, something he won’t offer at the next level. Foreman will need to address his fumbling issues going forward, but his ability as a skilled, enthusiastic blocker in the passing game increases his value considerably in my estimation looking ahead to April’s 2017 NFL Draft.
In my opinion, Foreman is a second round worthy talent at the position, but in a congested running back class he may have to wait until the third round to hear his name called. Defences on Sundays will be in for a bruising experience when facing the Texan talent, a perfect fit for a power run offensive scheme.
With the 2017 NFL Combine just around the corner, don’t expect the Texas City high school product to stand out during the on-field tests. The event in Indianapolis, beginning on 28th February, does not suit all the prospects in attendance and Foreman will be one of those, as the sole Longhorns representative .
While not blessed with outstanding, breakaway speed, his game is all about power and foot quickness to the edge powered by his country-strong legs and once he gets out to the second level he has another level of speed. Of course the 40-yard dash and cone-drills will not reflect this, but should not deflect from the talent he will be on Sundays.
Featured Image Credit: Will Gallagher/IT
If you enjoyed this you can read our scouting reports on all the eligible draft prospects in the 2017 edition of our NFL Draft Guide, available here from the 1st April (All proceeds are donated to Muscular Dystrophy UK) (£5).