Throughout the offseason, the Patriots have been revamping their entire team. Whether that be acquiring Brandin Cooks for a first round draft pick or signing Stephon Gilmore to one of the biggest contracts ever given out by the Patriots, the team is clearly gearing up for another, or maybe multiple, Super Bowl runs.
However, the Patriots have not addressed their running back situation yet, outside of the acquisition of Rex Burkhead, who signed with the Patriots to the tune of $3.15 million over one season. Burkhead's contract is almost unprecedented for the Patriots, as they usually pick a guy off the street and throw him back there. In the past couple of seasons, Patriots fans have seen James White, Dion Lewis, and LeGarrette Blount manning up behind Tom Brady. While these players are talented in their own right, they aren't necessarily Kevin Faulk or Corey Dillon. Burkhead has been applauded for his versatility, but I do not believe he is an every down back, especially on a team like the Patriots.
Interestingly enough, the Patriots have inquired about a number of running backs on the open market, including Adrian Peterson. However, it appears as if the Patriots are not willing to dish out even more money at the position and will look to build this position up through the draft.
According to multiple reports, the Patriots are extremely interested in Texas running back D'Onta Foreman. According to Kevin Tame of USA Today and Fansided, the Patriots have already held a private workout with Foreman and are going to meet with him again today.
The former two-star Texas City product has been able to get out of his twin brother's shadow, who was a highly touted recruit a few years ago, and became one of the best running backs in not only the NCAA, but in the history of Texas Longhorns football. Foreman was able to break Earl Campbell's 11-game streak of having at least 100 rushing yards a game and rushed for over 2,000 yards in his junior season at the University of Texas.
When I look at Foreman, I see Blount. Foreman is a big back that can knock guys over and break tackles, but, unlike Blount, Foreman has the quickness and speed to be a three-down back. Unfortunately, Foreman's biggest weakness is his fumbling tendencies and lack of ability in pass protection. Last season, Foreman had seven fumbles and lost six of them. While he was incredibly dynamic with the Longhorns, at times it looked as if he was trying to do too much, which is understandable after looking at how difficult of a season Texas had under now-fired coach Charlie Strong.
Make no mistake about it, Foreman is going to be a project for the Patriots, but he can also make an immediate impact, especially if Bill Belichick does not re-sign Blount. The Patriots do not own a pick in the first two rounds, which is perfect if you are a fan of Foreman. I have seen a bunch of projections for Foreman; some have him going as early as the middle of the third round, while others have him closer to the end of the fourth round.
Bottom line, the Patriots like Foreman. A lot. This is a name to keep an eye on in the next couple of weeks.