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Film Room: Could D’Onta Foreman be the power back the Colts are looking for?

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Colts claimed Texans’ RB D’Onta Foreman

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans released former second round pick D’Onta Foreman this week and the Colts were quick to capitalize on the situation. The Colts are in need of a power back on the roster as their top three is pretty set with Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins all on the team. Foreman, once one of college football’s best running backs, could be the potential answer to that roster spot.

In today’s film room, we are going to look back on Foreman’s career with the Texans and see what he has to offer for the Colts. We are also going to look at the upside with this waiver claim as well as why it may or may not pan out.


Texas University/Draft Prospect

Foreman was an outstanding running back for the University of Texas as he finished his Junior season with an insane 323 carries for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns. That stat line was good enough to win him the Doak Walker award for the best running back in college football. He then decided to turn Pro after that phenomenal season and put up some insane numbers at the combine as well.

Size:

6’0” 233 pounds

Measureables

40 Time: 4.46 / Bench Press: 18 reps / Vertical Jump: 33 inches / 3-Cone: 7.21 seconds

College Film/Highlights


Texans Film

Positives

The first thing that immediately stands out with Foreman is his speed. For a player with his size, he has excellent long speed and pretty good burst through open lanes. When the hole is easy to find, he explodes through for big gains. He also does showcase some power when he is running even if it isn’t as consistent as you’d like it to be. The biggest asset in his game though is that home run ability to make big plays.

Foreman with a good carry here by the goal line to get his first career touchdown. He drives downfield into the hole into the traffic of the defense. He does a good job of keeping his head up and locating an exit point in all the traffic. He is able to stay on his feet and drive forward for the score. This area is where he is going to have to succeed if he hopes to make the Colts’ regular season roster.

The home run ability is the biggest asset in his game. Here the hole up the gut is jammed up so he decides to bounce the play to the outside. He finds a lane on the outside and shows off his speed and burst. He gets the corner and wins the footrace down the sideline for the touchdown. Unfortunately, he did rupture his Achilles on this play. He didn’t play much last year for the Texans so it is tough to say right now how that injury is going to effect this long speed and burst.

This next clip is probably the best overall play of Foreman’s career. He doesn’t run hard too often on film but here he is obviously running hard after a fumble on the previous possession (that clip will be shown later). He shows good vision in finding the hole and pushes to the second level. There he is able to meet the safety head on and he lowers his shoulder to gain the extra yards. He then carries multiple defenders for a big gain. These plays are very rare on his film and it is nice to see that he has the ability to make these types of runs.

All he needs is a little bit of space and he can turn a run into a big play. The negatives are hard to overlook, which we will go over in a few here, but the big play ability is there, Hopefully he still has this speed and burst after the ruptured Achilles injury.


Negatives

The negatives in Foreman’s game are hard to ignore. He is a home run hitter but he really struggles in the down to down nuances of playing running back. His vision is pretty poor and his contact balance is not great for a bigger back. He has major fumbling issues (three fumbles in under 100 career touches) and he is not very physical for a bigger back. These negatives plus the arrest in 2017 and the reported maturity issues out of Texans’ camp give me a lot of worry about this claim working out.

Vision is the first weakness that stands out. He just struggles to read the correct hole too often and his corner ability and agility is really poor. Here he sees the safety meet him in the hole and instead of going forward and fighting for more yards, he decides to run away from contact and bounce it outside. He gets caught in the backfield for a loss on the play. I’d like to see a big “power” back bang inside and get the positive yards here but he takes the easier route and ends up losing yards.

The vision on this next play gives off major Trent Richardson vibes. He has the clear lane to the “B” gap next to the guard and tackle but decides to cut back into the traffic in the middle. He misses the more obvious hole to the outside and ends up leaving yards on the field. He may not have gained many more yards if he hit the destined hole but he missed his read and shows a bad process on this play. His vision has to improve if he is ever going to be an every down player in this league.

Here is just a bad play overall for Foreman that is hard to watch. He runs into his quarterback on the hand-off then gets taken down pretty easily by a high tackle by a safety. Preferably you’d like to see a player with Foreman’s size be able to fight through that contact and stay on his feet. Unfortunately, his contact balance is just not good. Way too often is he brought down by corners and safeties in the open field. A player who is 230+ pounds and runs a 4.46 40 yard dash should almost never be knocked back or taken down easily by smaller defensive backs.

The lack of agility and poor balance again are on display here. It takes him multiple steps to stop his forward momentum and cut up field and then he is unable to get his feet up through the hole and stay on his feet. Again, these are issues that are way too apparent on film. He struggles with so many little details that running backs have to be good at to succeed in this league.

The last issue is his fumbling. We all saw last season how Jordan Wilkins’ playing time decreased with the more fumbles he put on the ground. Running backs just don’t last long in this league when they cough up the ball. Foreman really struggles with this and they mainly happen when he is bracing for contact in traffic. These fumbles have to go away if he wants to make this Colts’ roster.


Final Thoughts

As you can probably tell from this article, I’m not a huge fan of D’Onta Foreman. It’s not like he is a bad player as he does have some upside and big play ability. To put it into baseball terms, he is like having a .185 hitter on your team who can only really hit home runs and do nothing else. If he can get open lanes and be in a perfect situation, he can make big plays.

I personally doubt that he makes the 53 man roster though. It’s one thing to keep an athletic project running back on your roster. To keep a project who has an off field arrest, has reported maturity issues, and has less than 20 touches since his major Achilles injury over a year ago seems like an unnecessary roster spot devoted to someone who likely will never have an impact for the team.

Hopefully he shows out in the preseason and becomes a superstar for this team but I’m not confident in that happening. As of right now, give me the power back who can pass block and fight through contact in Jonathan Williams for the 4th running spot over D’Onta Foreman.