2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Stone Forsytheby Alex Barbour April 18, 2021 1 comment
When it seemed like all of the top tackle talents for the 2021 NFL Draft were known, Stone Forsythe came onto the scene. He is a very late riser into the late day-two conversation, jumping ahead on some boards of Walker Little and James Hudson. At his enormous size, it is understandable why teams could be enticed into bringing him on. Will his talent back it up? That is the million-dollar question. Kyle Trask had a phenomenal year in 2020, so one would first think that Forsythe could be the real deal. After all, if Trask really is not that great, then the offensive line and weapons surely were the driving factor of that offense. Let’s see if this late hype is really what it is cracked up to be.
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Name: Stone Forsythe
Position: Offensive Tackle
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 307 lbs
Run Blocking (7.0/10)
Run blocking is Forsythe’s strong suit. He is inconsistent with his power, but when he generates it, there is a solid chance that he can pancake anyone. The former Gator did just that against Azeez Ojulari. Forsythe is able to turn defenders and open up holes, so it seems likely that his best fit is in an inside-zone scheme. Past the line of scrimmage, however, he is far from desirable. The athleticism does not pop, and the fear factor is nonexistent. Also, Forsythe has clunky open-field mobility. The bottom line is that if he can get his hands on a defender, the ball carrier can feel safe running behind him.
Note: 5.0 is average and 9.0 is elite.
Pass Blocking (6.25/10)
Forsythe is also inconsistent here. He is mainly solid against all pass rushers, but he is far from flawless. First off, Forsythe tends to stick with speed rushers instead of cutting them off their trajectory. With his lack of mobility, the last thing he should be doing is trying to keep up with a superior athlete. The main issue is the anchor: it is very poor versus speed rushers and quite average versus power rushers. Simply put, it is not hard to push Forsythe back. The Florida product will need to develop his play versus edge bend, but that is coachable easily. The best fit for Forsythe is with an immobile quarterback. So long as he can establish a non-moving pocket, he will thrive at the next level.
Has anyone read the word inconsistent yet? Forsythe has flashes of amazing length usage, but it is not perfectly consistent. He does have the Penei Sewell reach with one arm and hit with the next. Like Sewell, however, Forsythe does not do this enough. The main issue is that he does not always use the full length of his arms (34 3/8’’) when he blocks. This can easily be coached to perfection, so do not worry.
Forsythe surprised here. He has solid steps, but they do not work as a full kick slide. The steps are short and choppy, which allows him to keep a stable base and remain in position at all times. The issue lies in the fact that Forsythe is not very fast, so speed rushers can certainly give him problems if he wants to maintain his form. His base remains wide until he has to chase a speed rusher.
Forsythe does everything to near perfection except the finish. He is able to hand fight well, even with Ojulari. Forsythe also keeps his hands inside the shoulders. This can reduce the chance of penalty drastically. The main issue is that Forsythe lacks the ability to control his opponent. This could be the biggest flaw that can pose a long-term threat.
Forsythe never looks lost on the field, which is quite rare for a college prospect. It seems as if the game has already slowed down for him. Being able to process blitzes well is easily the best attribute of the former Gator’s mindset. His issues lie in his open-field positioning, speed-rusher tracking, and off-platform positioning. Forsythe does not have the best awareness of what to do past the line of scrimmage, which should not become a huge factor down the line.
When dealing with Ojulari, he did misread his trajectory, causing the Florida product to be out of position. This can easily improve with practice. Lastly, Forsythe over commits when he is off-platform, which can lead to him benign out of position as well as off-balance. To end off on a high note, he does pass off blocks to other linemen well, all while remaining calm and collected. There is a lot to like here.
The testing numbers and tape both support this score. Forsythe is not very fast or agile, but he is athletic enough to play at a high level if he fixes a few mental errors. The fact that he can be fluid and in control when tracking a speed rusher is amazing. Not many linemen can keep their composure when the target across from them could blaze right by.
As stated before, Forsythe is not the most athletic past the line of scrimmage. As he gets more comfortable with the game, this can change. Lastly, this may not be a concern, rather a fluke, but Forsythe did end up on the ground a multitude of times. He was not toppled over by defenders but rather fell when he had control. This does not look like a major issue, but it is noteworthy.
Power at the Point of Attack (6.25/10)
Inconsistency rises once again. Forsythe pancaked Ojulari on the first play against Georgia, but he has good stretches where he has little to no power in his punch. The Florida product has a poor anchor against speed rushers and a mediocre one against power, so he will not be an unmovable guardian angel. Forsythe did only put up 25 bench press reps at his pro day. Some plays showed that he could do more, but many plays confirmed this.
Positional Versatility (7.25/10)
Forsythe played both left and right tackle, and his skillset appears transferable to guard. This may open up new windows for him to grow under a veteran tackle while starting year one. It could also mean that a team like the New York Jets who have a hole at right guard and a future hole at right tackle can take a shot on Forsythe to fill one of those. He should stick to inside-zone and power-run schemes if he remains a tackle, however. The open-field tracking may limit him at tackle in an outside-zone scheme.
Competitive Toughness (4.5/5)
Forsythe plays until the whistle is blown. The only nitpick is that he does not always run when he should. Forsythe keeps his head on a swivel and always looks to make a solid block.
There appear to be multiple injuries in Forsythe’s past, but they appear to be not career-altering. Hopefully, this will not continue with better trainers in the NFL.
Forsythe definitely impressed. He surely is not one of the top-five tackles in this class, but he could certainly be in the top 10. Forsythe is polished enough to start day one, but the lack of consistent power, defender tracking, and open-field blocking limit his potential in the long run. The Florida product will have an impact on his team, but most likely we will be a rotational swing tackle for his entire career.
That may sound harsh, but given the injuries sustained by every team every year, being a swing tackle is extremely valuable. Many teams need a tackle desperately, so Forsythe is not far from being able to start. He may not have the ceiling to last consistently, however. Hopefully, he proves this notion wrong and develops further. For now, only time will tell.
Final Grade (68.25/100): Third Round
Player Comp: Ty Nsekhe