Los Angeles Chargers: Stone Forsythe would be ideal Day 2 draft target

Los Angeles Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Chargers scored big last year with Justin Herbert, now the 2021 NFL Draft has to be the time when the franchise protects their quarterback.

Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has his franchise signal-caller in Justin Herbert after taking him in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft. Now he has to get the young quarterback long-term protection.

With Joe Lombardi in place as offensive coordinator, it’ll be up to him to get the sophomore quarterback to the level Drew Brees was able to under his watch. Lombardi had success with Brees in New Orleans but the Bolts’ offensive line needed serious upgrades to reach that level.

After a busy offseason addressing that need, they can continue to add solid pass protection in Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft in the form of Florida tackle Stone Forsythe.

Los Angeles currently has the 47th overall selection on Day 2. Selecting Forsythe would give them depth at left tackle. Even if the team selects Oregon’s Penei Sewell in the first round, adding Forsythe makes sense; there’s nothing wrong with a deep offensive line.

What could the Los Angeles Chargers expect from Stone Forsythe?

Forsythe was one of the highest-graded pass blocking tackles in college football last season, per Pro Football Focus, posting a 76.9 grade off of 813 snaps played for the Gators.

Standing at 6-9, 312 pounds, Forsythe is a lean tackle who will probably need to bulk up in time. While balance might not be the best word to describe him, he does fit the profile of an NFL tackle in a league geared heavily towards passing. As a side note, he also played right tackle at Florida, so it’s possible he can be a swing tackle if coached properly. His biggest downside will be the run blocking but this too can be remedied by NFL-level coaching.

From a physical standpoint, Forsythe has the tool with an arm length of 34.375-inch arms a 5.13-second time in his 40-yard dash, and a 7.47-second 3-cone drill. You can see that he remains composed in his stance in the face of pass rushers. A brilliant sample of this is when he faced off against Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari. His raw upper body strength combined with his length made him a nightmare for Ojulari.

Blocking for quarterback Kyle Trask last year allowed Forsythe to show off his potential. While he performed brilliantly against the likes of Alabama and Georgia, the NFL is another question entirely. Nevertheless, the fact he allowed only two sacks facing SEC defenses surely accounts for something.

Next. Final 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers trade up for Sewell. dark

If Forsythe’s footwork and power can translate into the NFL, the Chargers will have themselves a long-term answer at tackle. The possibility exists that Los Angeles goes defense in the first; if that’s the case, Forsythe in the second would be a nice consolation prize.