The starting right tackle spot is an open competition for the Seattle Seahawks due to the departure of Brandon Shell this offseason. Jake Curhan, who started five games last season, has the inside track and has had the first-team reps throughout training camp. Then you have rookie Abe Lucas, who was Seattle’s third-round pick in this year’s draft, and Stone Forsythe, a 2020 sixth-round pick who played just 14 offensive snaps as a rookie but has been in the mix at RT this camp. We’ve previously covered the likelihood of Abe Lucas becoming the Week 1 starter, in this article we are going to see how likely it is that Stone Forsythe gets the opening day nod.
+ Forsythe block the power move and recognize the stunt by picking the DT without any further problems. pic.twitter.com/9jxhkdE7IC— Alexandre Castro (@alexcastrofilho) August 18, 2021
Forsythe does a great job of consistently handling stunts by both passing off his defender and taking on the other defender without losing any ground. This is something he showed with consistency at Florida, and it has continued to the NFL. On this play we can see Forsythe transition from blocking #51 to #96 with relative ease. The left guard did a great job of putting #96 right into Forsythe’s lap but the former Gator was able stay true to his spot rather than following #51 all the way inside.
- Forsythe can make the reach block here. This type of block should be a tendency in Waldron's scheme. pic.twitter.com/8vIzznSxby— Alexandre Castro (@alexcastrofilho) August 18, 2021
When Forsythe makes the first contact on the play and gets a good leg drive, he is able to move defenders with relative ease. Tasked with blocking #96, Forsythe is able to get out of his stance quickly and drive through the defender pushing them down the line of scrimmage. If Forsythe was slower out of his stance or did not possess as much strength it is likely the #96 beats him on the play and makes a tackle at or near the line of scrimmage. This is a block that is going to be imperative for Forsythe to master if he is going to become a contributor in a Shane Waldron offense.
When Stone Forsythe connects with his target he is going to send people flying. The edge shows but drops. This gives Forsythe a clean shot on a DT. Gives his QB a chance to keep the play alive. @ArrowheadLive pic.twitter.com/Rxvu9e8kOH— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) April 2, 2021
With Forsythe playing at 6’8 and 307 pounds he is going to carry a lot of power in his game as shown in the play above. On this play the second-year player delivers a shot right into the ribs of the defensive lineman, knocking him over with ease. Forsythe packs sizable power in his game, which helps him make up for the softer hands that he possesses. His power is going to be imperative in multiple situations with stunts and reach blocks being two of them as highlighted above.
- Bad pad level— Alexandre Castro (@alexcastrofilho) August 18, 2021
- vulnerable to inside moves pic.twitter.com/LkrJhyFPtT
Dating back to his time in college, Forsythe has consistently presented a soft inside shoulder to opposing defenders. On this play we can see him cheat too far to the outside without any help to the inside. The defender is easily able to strike him in the chest with their outside arm and then rip through his inside arm being given a straight shot to the inside. Forsythe’s tendency to cheat to the outside is something that is going to be targeted by advanced defenders routinely. An additional problem with this for Forsythe is when he does adjust and plays more neutral it will potentially take away from his ability to protect his outside shoulder
Poor footwork/slow feet
- not good feet here. Was beat after armover. pic.twitter.com/6eBiNWbb3N— Alexandre Castro (@alexcastrofilho) August 18, 2021
Forsythe plays with choppy and slow feet with some regularity in addition to his tendency to play on his heels at times. This was something I noticed when watching his Florida tape and it is still something that is present in his game, which is of concern. Rather than staying light on his toes on this play so he can push off his feet get choppy and flat, leaving him susceptible to moves both inside and outside. Additionally, Forsythe has a tendency to get too wide of a base when in his stance which leaves him susceptible to being driven back by defenders. On this play we see Forsythe show choppy feet as well as getting back a bit on his heels, which prevents him from defending his inside shoulder.
Plays too upright
- High pad level to contact defender making it easy for DE to disengage and go after RB pic.twitter.com/vZoIt5OYkV— Alexandre Castro (@alexcastrofilho) August 18, 2021
Forsythe has the ability to get good bend in his knees but there are far too many plays that he puts on film where he plays upright and with a high pad level. As a result of a higher pad level, he loses leverage on those plays allowing defenders to move him with little effort. With how upright Forsythe gets on this play he is unable to create any drive in his lower half to move the defender out of the way. As a result, the defender is able to disengage from him with relative ease and make a tackle on the ball carrier. This is something that is going to have to be cleaned up if Forsythe wants to have consistent success in both the running and passing game.
When watching Forsythe’s college film at Florida, I saw a swing tackle who could start games on occasion as needed at the next level and that is still what I see in his game. In my Abe Lucas article, I predicted that the third-round pick would be the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter and I am sticking to that prediction. Whilst Forsythe does have some sizable strengths to his game, he also possesses some concerning flaws that will currently prevent him from becoming a full-time starting tackle.