Finding meaning in an increasingly meaningless season is difficult, but not impossible. For the first time in over a decade, the Seattle Seahawks are in the final phase of the season and not only know that they aren’t headed for the playoffs with multiple games left in the year, but also know that a long offseason is looming ahead. And unlike the conclusion of the 2017 season — which still saw them finish with a winning record and looking more like a “retool and reset” than a “blow-up and rebuild” — this squad feels like it is more than a few tweaks away from getting back to competing. So with little else to play for at this point, my desires turn now towards seeing players get opportunities to show what they can do after spending the season buried on the roster. Some of these guys (like 2021 undrafted free agent Jake Curhan) have had some extended time to showcase their talents due to injuries along the line. But others, like towering 6th round pick Stone Forsythe, have seen far less action.
When Stone heard his name called in the 2021 draft, he was both Seattle’s final selection and the final player drafted off of the 2020 Florida Gators football team that finished 8-4 but had no problem scoring points. And we all know about his impressive stature, but how has he translated his skills to the professional level?
Corbin Smith of Seahawks Maven semi-recently did a good breakdown on how rookie linemen Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe performed in their matchup with the 49ers, and the results were actually quite promising (at least for Forsythe... Curhan had his fair share of struggles while playing out of position on the interior). Below are a couple of the featured plays that show Forsythe settling in nicely at right tackle.
I'll take this from a rookie tackle against Nick Bosa all day long. Would like to see a little better movement at top of pass set, less lunging. But he forced rusher to go deep upfield, so I'll mark that as a "W" all day long. pic.twitter.com/yQulmvURdw— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) December 8, 2021
First is a tough draw against Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers, but Forsythe more than holds his own. Even though this looks like a matchup that Bosa would win more times than not, I still take it as a net positive even seeing Stone make a difference against one of the most feared young pass rushers in the league. And his run blocking looked pretty decent too.
Thoughts on Stone Forsythe's run game reps...— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) December 12, 2021
Mostly positive in limited action: He mixed it up with Arik Armstead, maintaining active hands and feet. Delivered a pancake off of a down block against him.
Only negative? Natural leverage issues resurfaced at goal line. pic.twitter.com/s2komSDQpP
But the fact of the matter is this: Forsythe has played a grand total of 14 snaps so far this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Of these, 8 were run snaps and 6 were passing plays. And all of these came in the game against San Francisco. Now, the good news is that Forsythe was not credited with allowing a single pressure in his limited action. In fact, his extremely limited sample size still netted him some pretty positive evaluations, which of course is a much better sign than the alternative. But what I would really like to see, going forward, is to get Forsythe some more game reps to close out the season. Unfortunately, this may not be a realistic expectation for this roster in disarray.
Duane Brown isn’t going to be around forever, and the signs are pointing towards the conclusion of his tenure coming sooner than later. I have a hard time imagining that even in this scenario, Seattle will fail to send out their declining veteran leader if he is healthy enough to play (which he is), and with ESPN listing Jake Curhan as the presumptive backup behind Brandon Shell, Forsythe may finish the season without many more opportunities to showcase his talents. And this is a darn shame, as he may just be the guy that Seattle is turning to in 2022.