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Should Bengals long for Longhorns RB D’Onta Foreman?

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Could the Bengals’ draft Foreman to be Jeremy Hill’s long-term replacement?

Texas v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

After spending his first two seasons as a deep backup for the Texas Longhorns, D’Onta Foreman exploded with more than 2,000 rushing yards in his 2016 junior season, winning the Doak Walker award in the process. He was the lone bright spot on offense for the team in the Lone Star state, but how well can his star shine in the NFL?

Position: Running back

School: Texas

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 233 pounds

Arm length: 31 3/8"

Hands: 10 1/8"

Bench press: 18 reps

CBS Sports RB ranking: 10

Draft projection: Round 4

Let’s take a look at Foreman’s game against the Oklahoma Sooners from the 2016 season. The game was a midseason loss for Texas, in which Foreman ran for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns (6.4 yards per attempt). That may seem like an impressive game, but it wasn't even his best as he topped 200 yards in three games and even had a game with 10.3 yards per attempt and 3 touchdowns (against Texas Tech).

Let’s start with a play on which Foreman runs with power. (Note: Links to the GIFs can be found in the paragraph before each GIF for those for whom the GIFs don’t appear.) He doesn’t go down after the initial contact, but bounces off the tackler and drags another, turning a stuffed run into a seven yard gain.

Here, we see Foreman again running with power, dragging a tackler for an additional five yards after contact, churning out extra yardage. And he’s not just dragging a little defensive back, but a big defensive lineman. I could have posted about a dozen clips from this game alone where Foreman plows through the Sooners defense, dragging the opposition for extra yardage.

Foreman is at it again on this play, bouncing off the initial contact, adding extra yardage and helping his team by turning what would have become a third-and-long into a much more favorable third and one.

In this last clip, Foreman breaks through the traffic at the line of scrimmage, pulling away from the initial wave of tacklers. He then rips through an arm tackle, and breaks free for an extra 25 yards from when the Sooners first thought they had him.

What to like:

He is a big 6’0”, 233 pound running back and runs like it. He runs with power and is a difficult runner to bring down. He adds many yards after contact with his powerful running and does a very good job of getting through the line and into the second level of the defense. Despite the Texas Longhorns’ difficulties providing him consistent blocking (he had many carries where he was greeted in the backfield by the defense), he still managed to produce 2,028 yards on the ground.

Foreman finished the 2016 season with 323 rushing attempts for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns (6.3 yard per carry average). He also added 75 yards through the air on seven receptions.

Weaknesses:

He ran 323 times last season and didn’t work out at Scouting Combine due to stress fracture. So, there have to be some concerns about his workload and injury potential. He also lost six fumbles last season. He offers little in the passing game, as he only had seven receptions last year and is not a very good pass protector. Another concern is that Texas ran extensively out of the shotgun, and he will have to adjust to a more traditional offense, which isn’t as difficult of a transition as it is for a quarterback, but is an adjustment he will have to make. In that way, a lot of what makes Leonard Fournette a poor fit for the Bengals is also what makes Foreman a questionable fit in Cincinnati, too.

Does he fit with the Bengals?

Foreman is essentially what the Bengals want Jeremy Hill to be. He is a power runner who creates extra yards after contact. He can run on first and second down, can run on short yardage plays, and provides nothing in the passing game. He even comes with the fumble-prone nature Hill has had issues with. If the Bengals were to draft Foreman it would be as the heir apparent to Hill, who is on the last year of his rookie deal. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals select somebody like Foreman, who shows many of the traits that made Hill such a good runner two seasons ago, but that he’s failed to replicate against any team other than the Cleveland Browns.

Poll

Would you be interested in D'Onta Foreman as a replacement for Jeremy Hill?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Absolutely, YES.
    (79 votes)
  • 47%
    Yes, but only as a mid-round pick.
    (231 votes)
  • 26%
    Maybe, they are about the same.
    (127 votes)
  • 10%
    NO. I still have faith in Hill.
    (50 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now