With the Buccaneers in need of a bell cow running back to replace Doug Martin could Texas stud back, D’Onta Foreman, fill that need? Let’s take a look at his college career and see if he would fit in the Buccaneers locker room.
The draft is a little over two months away now and excitement around this years running back class is building day by day. With the Buccaneers likely to move on from two-year star Doug Martin the position definitely needs to be addressed this off-season. After failing a drug test this past season Martin could be released without any cap hit. The Buccaneers could target someone in free agency but most of those players are either at the end of their career or not good enough to make their current team.
If the Buccaneers want to go with a rotation of guys they have a solid nucleus now but no one that can be a huge difference maker. Unless Le’Veon Bell becomes available there is no free agent that can make that big of a difference. The draft has some major talent in the top half of the draft but if one of the top guys doesn’t fall to 19, where the Buccaneers pick, they may have to wait until day two to find their guy. That guy could be D’Onta Foreman out of the University of Texas.
D’Onta Foreman was born and raised in Texas City, Texas. He graduated from Texas City High School and was only a two star recruit as a running back and defensive end. Not the prototypical high school back, playing defensive end definitely influenced on him being a massive power back. Foreman rushed for 4,328 yards and 61 touchdowns in his career, 2,102 yards and 31 touchdowns in his senior season. Growing up in Texas, Foreman chose to play for his hometown team in the Texas Longhorns.
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Foreman played in seven games as a true freshman only getting the rock 15 times rushing for 73 yards. Seeing some action as a special teamer he was mostly a reserve back. He missed two games due to a hand injury. As a sophomore he started getting it going. He played in ten of twelve games in which he had 94 with 681 and five touchdowns. D’Onta finished five carries short of qualifying for the NCAA ranking for yards per carry where he would have finished fourth at 7.17 yards per carry. He was elected to the Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 to finish off a solid sophomore season.
In his junior season he really started making a name for himself. He started ten of eleven games rushing the ball 323 times for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns. He became the first Longhorns running back to break 1000 yards since Jamaal Charles. In a win over previously unbeaten Baylor, Foreman rushed 32 times for 250 yards and two touchdowns in which he had 100 yards in the first quarter. His 250 yards are the second-most in school history against AP ranked teams. A week later against another in-state rival, Texas Tech, he had 341 yards and three touchdowns.
In the final five games of his collegiate career he recorded 1173 yards. In his junior year he was named the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Player of the week twice, named a consensus First-Team All-American, and was awarded the Doak Walker Award. The Doak Walker award is given to the nation’s top running back, yes over Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette. He finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting.
D’Onta declared for the NFL draft after his junior year electing to forgo his senior season. Foreman is not a small running back coming in at 6’1″ 250 pounds. He’s a power back with finesse moves and has some sneaky good speed. A projected round two player the Buccaneers may have to trade up in the second round to draft D’Onta.
My pro comparison for D’Onta Foreman is a young Marshawn Lynch. Lynch needed to develop a little before he became the star we now know but Foreman has the potential to be a similar bruiser. He’s actually bigger than Lynch was but he actually has similar size to Le’Veon Bell when he came out of Michigan State. Bell has trimmed down to 225 and is the most dynamic back in the league. Bell has better hands than Foreman but has the shiftiness and power to develop into a strong bell cow running back.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a running back next season especially if they want to help Winston. No offense to Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers but they are not in the top-tier of running backs. If the Buccaneers want to become a playoff team they need a strong passing game and running game.
With Mike Evans and Winston they have the potential for a dynamic offense if they add some more players this off-season. It is going to be a fun free agency and draft for the Buccaneers but if they decide to draft a back Foreman is not a bad option.