Down more than 15 pounds from last season’s playing weight, former Texas Longhorns running back D’Onta Foreman worked out in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams on Tuesday morning at the annual Texas Pro Day.
Detroit, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh all sent their running back coaches to evaluate Foreman in person. The presence of those coaches was notable because former Florida State running back Dalvin Cook went through his pro day workouts in Tallahassee on Tuesday.
After a stress fracture in his foot kept the 230-pounder from showing off his speed at the NFL Combine back in February, Foreman was ready to put some official testing numbers on record.
“That was tough to swallow,” he recently told Men’s Health. “I was ready to compete. I felt strong. I felt fast. I was disappointed, but I returned to EXOS and got back to the grind right where I had left off. I trained there until a few days ago when I returned to Austin ahead of my pro day on Tuesday.”
Seeking to run a 4.40 40-yard dash — in the range of the hand-timed result he posted at a critical Longhorns summer camp in 2013 to finally earn an offer from Mack Brown — Foreman noted that he was still faster than most of his opponents in college at around 246 pounds.
WATCH: D’Onta Foreman runs a 4.45 40-yard dash, shows a complete game as a RB
D'Onta Foreman demonstrates how to earn some Popeye's
At 230 pounds, D'Onta Foreman ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the Texas Pro Day. His reward to himself? His favorite meal at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.Posted by Burnt Orange Nation on Tuesday, March 28, 2017
“I could outrun most guys in college,” Foreman said. “I was fast and at 246 pounds, I was tough to bring down. … I was fast, but I could be faster. I wanted to take things up a notch and to become the best version of myself. … I was 246 pounds when I arrived to EXOS. At 6’0” tall, that was a lot of weight to carry with me. A lot of weight that as fast as I felt in college, actually slowed me down. In about two months, I had cut 13 pounds and built muscle mass. I felt leaner, I was able to move faster, and it showed.”
Early reports had an unofficial broad jump of 10 feet and a vertical of 33 inches for Foreman, both solid numbers given his size and numbers that he was unlikely to achieve at almost 250 pounds.
And, in the critical 40-yard dash, the unofficial times between 4.41 and 4.44 were extremely impressive and fit with what Foreman might be capable of when healthy and in top physical condition. Most accounts seemed in line with those numbers, with 4.48 on the high end.
We're getting 4.43-4.48 on D'Onta Foreman's first attempt pic.twitter.com/nZyHlDeldd— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) March 28, 2017
Gil Brandt provided some verification for Foreman’s testing times:
D'Onta Foreman UT pro day numbers (only benched at combine): 6-0 1/8, 234, 33-inch vertical, 4.45/4.45 40s— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 28, 2017
The former Texas running back also looked sharp in his agility drills, pass protection drills, and showed sure hands, catching everything that was thrown to him.
D'Onta Foreman did not drop a single ball in receiving drills. I think it's safe to say he made himself some at Pro Day. #Longhorns— Taylor Estes (@Taylor_Estes_) March 28, 2017
Foreman has been waiting for his favorite meal — Popeye’s fried chicken with a biscuit — since January. After having to put that feast off when he couldn’t test at the Combine, it’s safe to say that he’s earned that cheat meal now.
In addition to the attempted comeback of former quarterback David Ash, now cleared to resume football activities for the first time after retiring from the game in 2014 due to concussions, former quarterback Tyrone Swoopes worked out at tight end in his attempt to convert from his longtime position.
Appearances from Longhorns hoping to catch on somewhere included running back Johnathan Gray, who has been training in his return from his latest Achilles injury, all-purpose back Daje Johnson, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, and safety Josh Turner.
As usual, there were also some notable alums in attendance:
Every year, there’s a guy who tests better than expected, raising questions about why those abilities never translated better to the field. In 2017, that player was former US Army All-American and longtime starter Kent Perkins:
Sources - #Texas OL Kent Perkins is having a huge day. 35 reps at 225 lbs. and over 30 in. on the Vertical. No Texas OL drafted since 2008.— Sean Adams (@thatsean) March 28, 2017
Here’s an outline of about how well players ran:
The numbers from Swoopes at around 250 pounds and Dylan Haines are both a bit faster than the range expected, while Bluiett certainly ran well enough to gain some consideration as an undrafted free agent due to his blocking ability.
However, unless Swoopes or Bluiett end up sneaking into the back end of the draft, Foreman will likely be the only Texas player taken this year.