The Seahawks capped off what could be their smallest draft class ever with one of their biggest players ever, offensive tackle Stone Forsythe of Florida.
The Seahawks pulled off a trade with the Bears to get him, dealing picks 217 and 250 to Chicago to move up to 208.
Those were the final two picks Seattle had, so unless the Seahawks make another move they will be done with the 2021 draft after just three picks.
Seattle has never made fewer than five, which it did in both 1994 and 1997.
Forsythe is listed at 6-8, 307 pounds, and was a two-year starter at offensive tackle at Florida.
Wrote the Lindy’s NFL draft preview: “Played his best as a redshirt senior in 2020 when he was lauded for his pass protection at left tackle.’’
According to the NFL Network, Forsythe allowed just two sacks in 488 pass blocking snaps in 2020.
Seattle is set at its two tackle spots for 2021 with Duane Brown on the left side and Brandon Shell on the right.
But those contracts expire after the 2021 season, and Seattle surely views Forsythe as a potential heir apparent at one or the other spots.
Seattle also re-signed Cedric Ogbuehi in the offseason and coach Pete Carroll said this week he will get a chance to compete with Shell on the right side.
Seattle’s other two picks in the draft are receiver D’Wayne Eskridge of Western Michigan at 56 and cornerback Tre Brown of Oklahoma at 137.
Some analysts projected Forsythe to go as early as the third round, and Forsythe told Seattle media it’s “just been a long waiting game” to finally hear his name called.
“That’s a question I kind of want to find out myself kind of why it took so long for everyone,” Forsythe said. “But I’m so still grateful to get the chance to hear my name called.”
NFLcom draft analyst Lance Zeirlien was particulary high on Forsythe, writing this scouting report:
“Tale of two tapes with pass protection that is often starter-caliber on the NFL level while the run tape leaves a lot to be desired. He’s a skyscraper, so getting his pad level to an optimal level will always be a challenge, but he has a tendency to lurch forward, allowing defenders to pull him off-balance as a run blocker. He’s an adequate athlete in both phases and can make block adjustments on the second level. Forsythe gets the most from his length in pass protection with a stout punch, firm outside hand and above-average core strength to take early control of pass reps. His hands are strong and he resets them effectively when the rush gets into him early. He’ll get pushed into panic mode from time to time against speed, and he’s just average catching up with inside counters. The name of the game is pass protection and Forsythe’s talent in that area should make him an NFL starter early on.”
According to his NFL.com bio, Forsythe is the son of Ray Forsythe, who played on the offensive line at Kent State and UCF before playing professionally with the Cincinnati Bengals, in NFL Europe and the Arena League.
According to NFL.com, he started one game at right tackle in 2018 and then 25 games at left tackle over the 2019 and 2020 seasons blocking for quarterback Kyle Trask, who was taken in the second round by Tampa Bay.
At Florida, he was teammates with Seattle receiver Freddie Swain, whom the Seahawks drafted a year ago, and said the two are good friends and often hung out together on weekends.
Forsythe said he had two or three Zoom meetings with Seahawks coaches in the run-up to the draft and knew Seattle was interested.
“I know they’ve got a great quarterback,” Forsythe said of the Seahawks. “They’ve kind of got a need for some offensive linemen, guys kind of come there and help.”