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Rookie Review: Stone Forsythe

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Detroit Lions v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks only had three draft picks in 2021. With limited draft capital and a surplus of team needs, they elected to do what few predicted and came out of the weekend having only made three selections. With the utmost importance being placed on the development of these players, how did the team fare in bringing the young rookies along? Let’s find out. This is a three-parter, with two more pieces in the works.

Stone Forsythe — Offensive Tackle

Florida Gators - Round 6 / Selection 208

A two year starter at Florida, Stone Forsythe’s hulking stature preceded him; but beneath his behemoth frame lies a surprisingly adept blocking technician who put up admirable performances against a swath of SEC juggernauts. Now, even facing off against the Alabama Crimson Tide is still a far cry from taking on a true NFL defense, and as such, Forsythe was never really predicted to be a year one starter for the Seattle Seahawks, and this is and always has been totally ok.

The Film

While we don’t have much film to review on Stone, we do have a little bit, and the limited action that we did see was encouraging. But oh how limited it was. The only real-time game action that we got to see in 2021 came during fourteen snaps in the first matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Corbin Smith of Seahawk Maven provided a good review of a particular redzone series where Forsythe got to mix it up with Arik Armstead on a few snaps.

Basically, what we are seeing is this: Forsythe looks to have the makeup of a competent blocker in the NFL. While his height is obviously going to necessitate that he continue to work on his leverage issues, he also displays the impressively fluid movement that he was heralded for coming out of college. He isn’t exactly the image of the linemen that I predicted Shane Waldron would be falling in love with, but he is a smoother mover than you would expect from someone his size. And whatever issues his stature may present aren’t stopping him from looking like he could be an asset to this offensive line in the next few seasons.

Snap Counts

After splitting time between left and right tackle in 2018, Forsythe played almost exclusively on the left side for the Gators in 2019 and 2020. While he can clearly do both, he generally fared much better as a pass blocker in college and looks like he will be competing to get left tackle reps in the near future, pending the status of Duane Brown going into next season.

As you can see above, Forsythe only played fourteen snaps all season long. And he didn’t allow a single sack according to Pro Football Reference, so there is that. But this is quite obviously only a micro-fraction of what he will be asked to do should his playing time increase, even if only in the form of seeing some extra reps as a swing tackle in ‘22. But there is further encouragement to be found!

According to Pro Football Focus, Forsythe was Seattle’s highest graded rookie in the preseason. He even made their “Preseason All Rookie team” for his performance. While this might not mean much, it also might not mean nothing. Preseason performers sometimes fail to make an impact once the games start to matter. But sometimes this is how long, successful careers are born. And even if Forsythe ends up somewhere in the middle, the fact that a sixth round pick was able to quickly look the part of an NFL player is worthy of note.

What to expect in 2022

Predicting the future for Forsythe in the coming season is difficult for a number of reasons; lack of playing time in 2021 and the still undecided status of Brown, specifically. Brown may have had an up-and-down season, as he went from looking like he was making a fool of the Seattle front office to making them look smart for not overly investing in a player at this point in his career. However, this is only in comparison to Duane’s phenomenal career, as he has set an impossibly high bar for himself. If he is back on the roster next season and healthy, he will be the Week 1 starter. However, should he depart or should injuries play a part, Forsythe provides at least some insurance for the team depending on how they approach the position in free agency and the draft. This brings me to my final thought: I DO NOT expect Forsythe to be a starter in 2022, and unlike the other two draft picks on the team, he doesn’t have much to go off of from his rookie season. However, I believe we will be able to tell a lot about how the team views him based on how much they work him into the rotation in the coming season; that is, how much effort is the team willing to put into intentionally getting Forsythe on the field? Only time will tell.

Check back soon for a Tre Brown review!