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Scouting Profile: Running Back D’Onta Foreman

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 11, 2017

D’Onta Freeman has all the makings of a great 1-2 down running back, but will his inability to catch passes hinder his fantasy output?

D’Onta Foreman, Texas

Height: 6’0″
Weight: 233 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.46 seconds (unofficial)
3-Cone drill: N/A
Broad jump: N/A

It’s really odd when you take a look at the free agent running backs available on the market, and then try to project where a running back like Foreman will go in the NFL Draft. He’s an early-down running back that offers game-breaking potential, but knowing there are guys like Adrian Peterson and LeGarrette Blount out there without jobs, how attractive will Foreman be?

The NFL is played differently than it was 10 years ago, heck, it’s different than it was just five years ago. A running back like Foreman would’ve been chalked up as a first round pick if we went back into the early 2000’s. But in today’s NFL, you want a running back who is at least competent in the passing game, and Foreman just doesn’t offer that, as he’s caught just 13 passes over his entire three college years.

Without backtracking, I don’t want to say he “can’t” catch passes, because it’s hard to say that without actually seeing him targeted. Whether it was the play-calling, ability, or both, NFL teams aren’t going to be relying on him playing third downs right away. This is the biggest knock on his game, and it’s a big one.

Getting to know the player Foreman was and the player he wants to be may be two different things. While playing with Texas, Foreman was playing at around 250 pounds, but heís apparently lost nearly 20 pounds in order to speed up his forty-yard dash time. This is definitely something to monitor, because Foreman already had decent speed for someone that was 250 pounds.

When watching Foreman, you can almost understand why he’d want to cut weight, as he wasn’t your typical ‘put your head down and run into the pile’ power-back. He played a lot smaller than he was, often bouncing a run outside. It worked at the college level, but that’s something every rookie talks about when they get to the NFL – they need to adjust to the speed of the game. At 250 pounds, Foreman wasn’t getting to the edge in the NFL. Losing weight may have been one of the best things he could do.

With the ball in his hands, Foreman is a hassle to bring down, shedding arm tacklers like they weren’t even there, and dragging defenders for a few extra yards. One subtle thing that needs to be changed in his game is the location of where he carries the ball in the open field, as he carries it far away from his body, making him susceptible to fumbles. His speed was fine for someone of his size, as he was definitely able to be caught from behind, but it wasn’t easy. The best way to say it, is that Foreman didn’t play like a running back that was 250 pounds, but rather one that was closer to 220-230 range. Again, the fact that he lost that weight should only help him, and shouldn’t affect his yards after contact much at all because he’s still a bigger back.

Potential landing spot

After all we talked about, you know that Foreman won’t land a feature back role. So when looking for potential suitors, you want to find a team who already has their pass-catching back on hand. The Jaguars have been rumored to be taking a running back in the first round, but I don’t see that happening without a trade back. They could pair Foreman with T.J. Yeldon and have one of the better one-two punches in the league, though Fournette would be better. Other teams that could use a back like him include the Buccaneers, Lions, Raiders, Patriots, and Giants.

NFL comparison

At the start of the article I mentioned free agent running backs, including LeGarrette Blount, which is who Foreman reminds me of. They both want to do things with their body that they shouldn’t be able to for players of their size, like throw down a spin move while bouncing a run out to the edge. They possess solid speed for power running backs and offer nothing in the passing game. Blount made a solid career of doing those things, so I don’t see a reason Foreman can’t. Of course it didn’t hurt that Blount wound up on the Patriots. Who knows, maybe Foreman is his replacement.

To read up on some of the other high-profile NFL Draft prospects, check out the links below:

Leonard Fournette – (RB, LSU)
Joe Mixon – (RB, Oklahoma)
Christian McCaffrey – (RB, Stanford)
Dalvin Cook – (RB, Florida State)
Alvin Kamara – (RB, Tennessee)

Ep. 72: Dynasty Rookie Draft

Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

 

 

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