2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report: D’Onta Foreman

  • D’Onta Foreman, 6-0/233

  • Running Back

  • Texas

  • D’Onta Foreman Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Power runner; physically imposing
  • One-cut downhill runner
  • Straight-line speed
  • Surprising ability to break off long runs
  • Can run away from defensive backs when he gets in the open field
  • Excellent yards after contact
  • Keeps legs going after contact
  • Asset as a goal-line, short-yardage back
  • Good knee bend, body lean
  • Runs behind his pads
  • Good vision
  • Balance
  • North-South runner
  • Good feel, instincts as a runner
  • Finishes runs well
  • Has a nose for the end zone
  • Wears down defenses
  • Capable of controlling games
  • Runs well in the second half
  • Very little wear-and-tear from college
  • Upside
  • Ready to contribute immediately

  • Weaknesses:
  • Not all that elusive
  • Stiff runner
  • Limitations as a receiving back
  • Will need work on route-running
  • Will need work on hands, catching
  • Will have to learn NFL blitz protection

  • Summary: Heading into the 2016 college football season, Foreman was not a highly touted back in a class of star backs including LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. As a sophomore, Foreman averaged 7.2 yards per carry for 681 yards and five touchdowns. Thus, the junior’s 2016 season was a surprise as he ran for more yards than either of those three star backs. Foreman averaged 6.3 yards per carry on the year for 2,028 yards with 15 touchdowns. He had only seven receptions for 75 yards, though. During the fall scouts told me that Foreman was an impressive back and that they really liked his pro potential.

    As a runner, Foreman is a North-South bruiser who has a burst to hit the second level. After getting by the line, Foreman is tough to tackle as he uses his power to run through arm tackles as defensive backs and linebackers struggle to get him to the ground. Foreman will be an asset as a goal-line and short-yardage back. He also gets better as the game progresses while wearing down a defense and can handle a big amount of carries.

    Foreman is a thick back who has a surprising second gear. If Foreman can get to his third or fourth step without having to change direction, defenses are in serious trouble. When Foreman breaks into the secondary, he can run away from the defense while also running over defensive backs. Additionally, he isn’t easy to catch from behind. His shocking speed was put on display at his pro day with a fast 40 time of 4.45 seconds. In many ways, Foreman is similar to Derrick Henry.

    The NFL is a passing-driven league, and Foreman has the size to be a good blocker. He wasn’t used as a receiver at Texas, so he will need development as a route-runner and with catching the ball. It wouldn’t be surprising if he is never much of a receiving back and leaves the game in obvious passing situations.

    Foreman is a physical downhill back who could lead a physical NFL offense. His pro team will probably sub him out in most passing situations, but he has the ability be a bell-cow back who takes on a 20-30 carry work load. If Foreman goes to a team with a good offensive line and quarterback, he could provide an immediate impact and be a difference-maker. Foreman could be a later first-rounder in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the second round seems like his most likely destination.

    Player Comparison: LeGarrette Blount. In terms of running style, Foreman reminds me of Blount. They are physical downhill backs who can handle a big work load. Both are very strong with the ability to run through tackles and pick up yards after contact. Foreman played heavier than he weighed in this offseason and was closer to Blount (6-0, 250). Teams had a second-round grade on Blount for the 2010 NFL Draft, but Blount went undrafted because of off-the-field issues. Foreman could easily be a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

    NFL Matches: Indianapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, New York Giants, Detroit, New York Jets, Carolina and Minnesota

    There are a lot of teams that could take Foreman. In the second round, there are a lot of organizations that could consider taking a running back. The Jets signed Matt Forte, but the skilled veteran is aging. Foreman could make a big difference for whomever is the Jets next starting quarterback after Josh McCown in Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty.

    Adding Foreman to Cam Newton could be a dynamic combination of running ability for the Panthers. Jonathan Stewart recently turned 30 and has had durability throughout his career. If Foreman gets to one of the Panthers’ second-round picks, he could be too good to pass up if they don’t take a running back in the first round.

    Perhaps the highest Foreman could hope to go would be in the middle of the second round. The Colts, Eagles and Ravens all need long-term starting running backs. Of those three teams, the Colts are probably the least likely to take a tailback because of the vast needs on the defensive side of the ball. Philadelphia with Doug Pederson’s offense might not be a good fit for Foreman’s lack of receiving skills. Baltimore has tried a few different runners, but need a lead back to carry its ground game. Tampa Bay could consider taking Foreman given Doug Martin’s situation and his uncertain future for the Bucs.

    In the NFC North, the Packers lost Eddie Lacy this offseason and will need a starting running back. Foreman would give Green Bay a physical presence to its offense. The Lions had the 30th-ranked rushing offense in 2016, and Ameer Abdullah hasn’t panned out thus far. The Vikings need a replacement for Adrian Peterson, and Foreman is a lot more talented than Latavius Murray.

    The Giants fielded the 29th-ranked rushing offense last season and badly need some talent in the backfield. Foreman would bring a physical presence to their offense.


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