The first Oakland Raiders prospect profile of Just Blog Baby’s coverage of the NFL Draft goes to D’Onta Foreman, running back at Texas.
If you were to look at a list of team needs of the Oakland Raiders at any point in the last few seasons, chances are you saw running back on that list. It makes sense; over the last few years, Oakland’s lead back has been Latavius Murray — an athletic back that just seemed to lack the instinct characteristic of a natural runner.
The additions of Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington gave the Raiders some natural runners (particularly with Richard), however, they are both shorter than 5’10”. No one is going to confuse either Richard or Washington for power backs, and with Murray’s contract coming to an end, there is a serious need for power in the backfield.
Enter Texas running back D’Onta Foreman.
Foreman is even bigger, and maybe faster than Latavius Murray. He is strong, athletic and powerful. Foreman weighs in somewhere between 240 and 250 pounds and could run a legit 4.4 40-yard dash.
So why isn’t an athlete that is bigger and faster than Derrick Henry, who put up over 2,000 rushing yards, considered a first round pick?
Foreman’s game has some glaring holes, the biggest of which being his lack of 3rd down ability. He is a major liability in pass protection and only had 7 receptions last season. Along with Foreman’s lack of skill in the passing game, he seems to be something of a slow starter. He also tends go down with relative ease at times, while other times, he looks down right unstoppable.
Let’s take a look at what makes Foreman such an interesting prospect.
First, lets take a look at some of the concerns that I have with Foreman before I get in to what makes him such a special athlete and football player.
We’ll start Foreman’s issues as with inconsistency as a runner. Often times he will break tackles and make miraculous plays, but other times (often at the beginning of games) he appears to go down way too easy for someone his size.
On the below clip, we see a situation where Texas absolutely needs a first down to stop the clock and move down the field but even with poor form from undersized tackles, Foreman makes no forward movement after contact and goes down before he gets a first down.
And on the next clip, we again see Foreman going down way too easily. He squeezes through his hole but is tripped up by light contact.
Ultimately it isn’t a huge concern — sometimes contact in the right location is enough to take down anyone and some RBs just need to get a feel for the game before they get going — however, it is something to keep an eye on.
Now let’s move on to what may be my biggest concern with Foreman.
He is a complete liability in pass protection. In passing situations, the offense essentially plays with 10 men on the field. Foreman is not a receiving threat, and he can not block. That is a huge concern for someone of his size.
Here is an example of a blitzing DB that flies past Foreman like he isn’t even there.