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LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 05: D'Onta Foreman #33 of the Texas Longhorns reacts to scoring a touchdown during the first half of the game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Texas Longhorns on November 5, 2016 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)

Football

NFL.com: D’Onta Foreman ‘could become early NFL starter’

Posted February 15th, 2017

The NFL Scouting Combine gets underway later this month, and Texas product D’Onta Foreman will be one of a handful of running backs trying to set himself apart.

Early mock drafts have Foreman going in the second round, but if recent grades released by NFL.com are any indication there may be several players nipping at his heels. The 2016 Doak Walker Award winner is rated 5.76 on the outlet’s 5-10 scale, which translates to “could become early NFL starter.”

RELATED: D’Onta Foreman: ‘I played during the season with a broken hand’

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Other running backs in the 5.70-5.99 range include Curtis Samuel from Ohio State (5.73), Christian McCaffrey from Stanford (5.9) and Alvin Kamara from Tennessee (5.99). Foreman is the sixth-ranked running back on the list.

  1. Leonard Fournette, LSU
  2. Dalvin Cook, Florida State
  3. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
  4. Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
  5. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  6. D’Onta Foreman, Texas
  7. Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
  8. Jeremy McNichols, Boise State

In a recent mock draft released by Sports Illustrated, Foreman was projected as the third running back off the board behind Fournette and Cook. NFL.com has Fournette rated second overall behind Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett.

Fournette’s grade of 7.15 places him in the “Pro Bowl to All-Pro ability” range, while at 6.54 Cook’s forecast is “Good NFL starter with Pro Bowl potential.” The next five running backs — including Foreman — are in the “NFL starter” range, which means there could be plenty to be gained or lost at the combine.

RELATED: D’Onta Foreman invited to NFL Combine

According to Foreman’s draft profile, written by NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, scouts like Foreman’s athleticism and size, but aren’t as keen on his decisiveness and pass-blocking.  Interestingly, the NFL comparison given for Foreman is Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. The Panthers are a team expected to be looking for running backs in the early rounds.

From Zierlein:

Teams could be split on his draft value as some may covet his size and athleticism while others will be concerned about a lack of third down value. Ultimately he has the talent to be a good NFL starter, but he’s still a work in progress.

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