The first and only Texas Longhorn came off the draft board late Friday night.
The Houston Texans selected former Texas running back D’Onta Foreman in the third round with the 89th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was the third player drafted out of the Big 12 and the seventh running back selected in at the event in Philadelphia.
The 2016 Doak Walker Award winner was one of two running backs to eclipse the 2,000-yard rushing mark last season. Foreman’s breakout year also featured 15 touchdowns and 11 games of at least 120 yards — including two 250-yard performances. After his historic junior campaign, Foreman declared for the NFL Draft but missed the NFL Combine in early March as a result of a stress fracture in his foot.
Foreman revealed to NFL Network before the draft that his infant son died less than two months after he was born last season.
“I was just overwhelmed with everything that I’ve been through,” Foreman said. “Everything that I’ve worked so hard for.”
The Texas City native will remain in the Lone Star State to begin his NFL career. He adds depth at the running back position for the Texans, who finished eighth in rushing yards per game during the 2016 NFL season. Foreman will likely start his NFL career learning behind veteran halfback Lamar Miller, who has ranked fifth in total rushing
“It was just so crazy because just this whole weekend I’ve just been seeing Texans logos everywhere,” Foreman said. “And for whatever reason I just told my family that I feel like I’m going to be drafted by the Texans. And for whatever reason, it happened. But God is great. He put me in this position and I’m so blessed.”
The former Texas running back adds a unique combination of strength and speed to the Texans backfield. Often viewed as a power back with his ability to run with physicality to shed off tacklers, Foreman impressed scouts by running a 4.45-second 40-yard dash on Texas’ pro day. After six fumbles in 2016, ball security was an issue that dropped Foreman’s stock in the draft, but it’s something Texans coach Bill O’Brien will likely emphasize when Foreman arrives in Houston.
“I know Bill O’Brien told me that he had me real high on the draft board and that it was great to have me and everything that I’ve been through,” Foreman said. “I can’t thank him and the organization enough.”
A few of Foreman’s former teammates joined him in signing NFL contracts this past weekend. Though he wasn’t drafted, former Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks as a tight end.
Offensive lineman Kent Perkins signed with the Cincinnati Bengals and tight end Caleb Bluiett signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr. signed with the Oakland Raiders. All four players will have to fight through summer training camps to make each team’s 53-man active roster in the fall.