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An interesting development for the Seahawks offensive line

Florida v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

In the 2021 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks held just three selections, and while the starters on the offensive line for the upcoming season appear likely to be largely set, that did not stop the team from adding depth at tackle. Specifically, the team selected Stone Forsythe out of the University of Florida in the sixth round, potentially addressing the need at tackle in the coming seasons by adding depth.

However, Forsythe wasn’t the only offensive lineman added this offseason, as the team of course also brought in four undrafted free agents for the position group. Those four include

  • T Greg Eiland
  • T Jake Curhan
  • G Jared Hocker and
  • G Pier-Olivier Lestage

Those four, combined with Forsythe represent the youth that will be battling during training to make the roster and act as depth behind an offensive line that should see four of five starters return in Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Damien Lewis and Brandon Shell. Add in that Gabe Jackson seems a lock at right guard, and while it’s not impossible that one of the youngsters could earn a starting spot, it seems more probable that in 2021 the role for these rookies, at least initially, is likely as depth.

That said, a look at the athletic traits of the new additions on the offensive line reveals what may represent a slight shift in terms of the type of players the team targets for the line. Specifically, here are the physical and athletic profiles of these five linemen.

Physical and athletic profiles for Seahawks 2021 rookie offensive linemen

Category Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jared Hocker Pier-Olivier Lestage
Category Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jared Hocker Pier-Olivier Lestage
Position T T T G G
Height 6080 6057 6077 6060 6031
Weight 307 316 321 327 312
Arm 34.375 33 37 33.125 33
40 5.13 5.45 5.77 5.37 N/A
20 2.96 3.17 3.28 3.02 N/A
10 1.82 1.89 2.03 1.86 N/A
Bench 25 15 8 N/A N/A
Vertical 27.5 24 26.5 30 N/A
Broad 103 102 97 103 N/A
Shuttle 4.63 4.84 N/A 4.76 N/A
3-Cone 7.47 8.07 N/A 7.58 N/A

A couple of items worth noting from these profiles are the arm length and the agility scores. As has been noted here at Field Gulls in the past, the offensive linemen the Seahawks have added since Mike Solari was hired in 2018 have all had arms that were 33” in length or longer, a threshold that a handful of prior additions had not upheld, namely guys like Jordan Roos and Joey Hunt. However, perhaps more notable are the times in the agility events for the rookies, specifically for Hocker and Forsythe.

These agility scores could represent some of the first glimpses of influence on roster construction from new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and run game coordinator Andy Dickerson. Specifically, these agility scores are far more in line with the type of agility times posted by the offensive linemen the Los Angeles Rams have added in recent seasons compared to the linemen the Seahawks have drafted recently. For comparison, here are the three rookie tackles compared to offensive linemen in the mold of those John Schneider and Mike Solari have teamed up to add to rosters, all the way back to 1998 when the Kansas City Chiefs used a first round pick on Victor Riley.

2021 rookie tackles for Seahawks compared to recent Seahawks tackle additions

Category Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler
Category Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler
Position T T T T T T
Height 6080 6057 6077 6040 6045 6070
Weight 307 316 321 299 331 306
Arm 34.375 33 37 35.125 34 34.375
40 5.13 5.45 5.77 5.50 5.55 5.42
20 2.96 3.17 3.28 3.02 3.23 3.14
10 1.82 1.89 2.03 1.95 1.92 1.89
Bench 25 15 8 18 21 15
Vertical 27.5 24 26.5 24 23 24
Broad 103 102 97 102 98 105
Shuttle 4.63 4.84 N/A 4.99 5.06 5.01
3-Cone 7.47 8.07 N/A 8.32 8.19 7.95

What jumps right out of that table is Forsythe’s athleticism compared to the rest of the group. He’s the only one of the group with a 20-yard split under three seconds, and he has far and away the best 3-cone and shuttle times. To understand just how different Forsythe’s athletic measurables are from the others listed on the table, just for fun, here’s the same table with wide receiver DK Metcalf included.

Throwing DK Metcalf into the table just for fun

Category DK Metcalf Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler
Category DK Metcalf Stone Forsythe Jake Curhan Greg Eiland Jamarco Jones Justin Senior Chad Wheeler
Position WR T T T T T T
Height 6033 6080 6057 6077 6040 6045 6070
Weight 228 307 316 321 299 331 306
Arm 34.875 34.375 33 37 35.125 34 34.375
40 4.33 5.13 5.45 5.77 5.50 5.55 5.42
20 2.53 2.96 3.17 3.28 3.02 3.23 3.14
10 1.48 1.82 1.89 2.03 1.95 1.92 1.89
Bench 27 25 15 8 18 21 15
Vertical 40.5 27.5 24 26.5 24 23 24
Broad 133 103 102 97 102 98 105
Shuttle 4.50 4.63 4.84 N/A 4.99 5.06 5.01
3-Cone 7.38 7.47 8.07 N/A 8.32 8.19 7.95

The first takeaway from the inclusion of Metcalf in this data is that if he ever get motivated enough to spend an offseason training with Eddie Lacy and Kelvin Benjamin, Metcalf could become an elite tackle prospect. Getting back to the serious side of things, however, it’s not secret that Metcalf’s 3-cone and shuttle times were on the very low end of the scale for receivers, but looking at where Forsythe falls in comparison to the others on the table is somewhat shocking. He’s not just closer to Metcalf than he is to the other offensive linemen on the table, he’s shockingly much, much closer to Metcalf. In addition, even if one chooses to use the faster times Metcalf posted at his Pro Day rather than at the Combine for these two events - 4.39 in the shuttle and 7.23 in the 3-cone - Forsythe’s agility times are still closer to Metcalf than they are to his fellow offensive linemen.

And that leads to take a look at the following comparison, which could give a glimpse into the future of the offensive line.

Forsythe compared to Joseph Noteboom

Category Stone Forsythe Joseph Noteboom
Category Stone Forsythe Joseph Noteboom
Position T T
Height 6080 6050
Weight 307 309
Arm 34.375 34.375
40 5.13 4.96
20 2.96 2.88
10 1.82 1.71
Bench 25 27
Vertical 27.5 24
Broad 103 101
Shuttle 4.63 4.44
3-Cone 7.47 7.65

For those unfamiliar with the name, Joseph Noteboom was a third round pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, and has been tagged as the likely left tackle of the future for the Rams. Injuries and the ability of Andrew Whitworth to defy the effects of aging have limited Noteboom to barely more than a thousand offensive snaps through the first three years of his NFL career. That said, what may be possible to discern from the fact that Forsythe more closely matches what the Rams have looked for from starting tackles in recent years is that the team may have once again shifted priorities in terms of what it looks for in terms of athleticism up front on the offensive line.