2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Texas RB D’Onta Foreman

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

D’Onta Foreman/RB Texas – 6’0/2 233

The Good

– Impressive frame, big lower half, but carries weight well and doesn’t look sloppy, and has big hands (10 1/8 inches)
– Good feet for how big he is, able to get skinny through the hole, and shows impressive change of direction ability, able to press the hole and lateral movement to change gaps
– Shows vision in man schemes and able to create outside the structure of the run when things break down behind the LOS
– Generally runs to frame and bounces off shoulder tackles, able to run through arm tackles when running North/South
– Surprising speed, able to win the edge, and shows a second gear in the open field, faster than I thought
– Successful short-yardage runner who runs downhill and is aware of down/distance
– Squares up in pass protection and size creates a good anchor
– Tremendous production in final year on sub-par team

The Bad

– Impressive athlete for size but obviously lacks great long speed compared to other backs in his class
– Pretty severe fumbling concerns/ball security issues
– Want to see pad level lowered a bit to do better job at the end of runs to maximize power
– Needs to show more active eyes in pass protection to pick up LB dogs and DB blitzes
– Seldom used out of the backfield, had one bad drop of the few targets he had in tape watched
– Only a one year starter, experience being the feature back


– One year starter
– Career: 431 carries, 2774 yards, 15 TDs, 13 receptions
– 2016: 323 carries, 2028 yards, 15 TDs, 7 receptions
– Had six fumbles in final season, had one in 95 carries in 2015
– Ended career with 13 straight 100+ yard rushing games
– Consensus All-American
– Brother is a WR for Texas

Tape Breakdown

Foreman is another big back in a class seemingly full of them the Steelers will be – and have already shown – interest in. He’s over 230 pounds but carries his weight well. We’re not dipping into Eddie Lacy territory here, though maybe the 323 carries he shouldered last year ran off any fast food trips he took.

He has good power, not on the Leonard Fournette scale, but plays to his size. Most impressively though is his feet and acceleration for a 233 pounder.

But he’ll run big when he needs to and I really like him in short-yardage situations. His performance against West Virginia is some clinic tape and I don’t think he got stopped once in that situation. Just one example but check it out in the Youtube video linked before.

If you’re a big #DraftTwitter guy, you might remember a debate about Foreman’s pass protection chops. I never saw him directly give up a pressure but it looked like he may have been at fault for some pass protection. Probably at fault for missing this LB dog against WVU.

A lot of the issues are things that are hard to sum up in one play. He was just a one-year starter though the definite lead back this past season, there’s no question about that. He barely saw action out of the backfield, 13 career receptions is about as few as it gets, and he had one screen clang off his hands in the four games I watched.

There’s the fumbling problems, six his final year, with four of those coming in the final four games. A lack of ball security is a one-way ticket to riding the pine, no matter how well you play otherwise.

Foreman had a fantastic season for the Longhorns on a pretty crappy team. He’s far from a plodder, can pass protect, and with reps, he’ll be serviceable enough out of the backfield. If he can stop putting the football on the ground, he’ll make whoever drafts him pretty happy. Compares well to LeGarrette Blount.

Projection: Late Day Two

Games Watched: at California, at Kansas State, vs West Virginia, vs TCU

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh MaloneKevin King
Fadol BrownChris GodwinNate GerryJordan WillisStacy Coley
Zay JonesJimmie GilbertGlen AntoineTarell BashamDuke Riley
Rayshawn JenkinsChad KellyTrey HendricksonJeremy SprinkleJoe Williams

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Spencer Krick

    An intriguing prospect, but those pass pro and ball security concerns are worrisome.

    I still think Kareem Hunt is my favorite realistic get as far as RB’s go.

  • Michael James

    There is one absolute no-go for a RB in my book and that’s fumbling issues. Usually they don’t go away either.

  • Andrew

    If he was sitting in the 4-5 range (he won’t be) then I would consider it. Still a James Conner fan. Ideal backup

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Actually I really like the guy. Lots of power and surprising speed and I love the way he gallops. Obviously he would not need to play much and can probably be taught to cover up the ball before contact. If they could get him in round 4, I would definitely take him. Just for the short yardage advantage and change of pace.

    The Steelers however, will not take him because Tomlin hates fumbles. I can’t blame him for sticking to that philosophy. Bell is such a luxury in that he is a stud and rarely turns the ball over. Anyway, I think Foreman can be really good.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m not an apologist for the guy but I did read a while back that he had a hand or thumb issue that could explain the fumbles. His recent foot surgery has me more concerned. I like Perine better but am a little concerned that his best ball is already behind him.

  • Ike Evans

    Absolute monster….the fumble issues are scary…other then that…somebody is going to get a top 15 rb in foreman

  • Darth Blount 47

    Fumbles are bad enough. But this kid has an NFL future. Personally, even though those stats for last season are gaudy, on what was a pretty bad Texas team, I can’t get past the lack of receptions. To play in this Offense under Haley, you MUST be able to catch. Sure, if we’re looking for a late round guy to be a complimentary short yardage/goal line back, Foreman would be wonderful. But we aren’t getting this kid in the 6th or anything. If he has hands of stone, he won’t fit with us as the backup for Bell. Nope. Sorry. This draft is absolutely loaded at RB. Options galore.
    Again, being a Mendenhall (Read: Fumbler) is one thing. But he just doesn’t fit what we want to do. Don’t want to have to hide this kid offensively. Strange that we have gone away from the Jerome Bettis RB in a Steeler uniform, but we have. If this were the 90’s, Foreman would be perfect. Barry Foster 2.0. But it’s not. So he isn’t. I hope he works on the fumbling, pass protection, and receiving. If he does, with that size/speed/running ability, he’ll be pretty good.

  • TroymanianDevil

    Alex, he had a broken hand during the season. I give him credit for playing through it

  • TroymanianDevil

    He played with a broken hand

  • TroymanianDevil

    He’s good. He played with a broken hand so I’d be willing to give him a pass on that

  • TroymanianDevil

    He played with a broken hand during the season so I’d expect that to be corrected

  • TroymanianDevil

    He will be and he had a broken hand, so I think the fumbles are less of a concern. If he’s there in round 4 absolutely. I’d even consider that 2nd 3rd round pick but it’s unlikely given other things to address

  • Rick Tilves

    I would Like to see a Profile on James Conner of Pitt.

  • Alex Kozora

    We already wrote about him! Look in the player profiles box for his name.

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  • Rick Tilves

    Thanks Alex,

    I missed it.


    Richard Tilves