He suffered a knee injury during a practice early this year and missed the remaining 10 games, so experience and injury concerns highly effect his value.
He is quick off the snap and has noticeable power to work slants and stunts and get into the backfield to disrupt plays. Instincts are an issue for him, as he doesn't seem to read and react to offensive schemes well, but it's encouraging that the issues surrounding his play could be helped significantly with good coaching.
His ability to stay on the field for the long-term will be an issue, and even when healthy he had difficulties being a three-down player. He shows a ton of wasted energy in his movements trying to rush the passer and has a lot of room to improve in his technique."
He saw the field as a true freshman in 2008 (one start), finishing with 18 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks, earning several Freshman All-America honors. Forston played in the first three games of 2009, but suffered an ankle injury and took a medical redshirt.
He returned in 2010 as a sophomore and started 12 games, recording 37 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and one interception.
Forston started the first three games of 2011 as a junior, but missed the rest of the season with a serious knee injury. Despite coming off a season-ending injury, he decided to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
Forston was a surprise early entry in this draft because he missed most of last season after suffering a non-contact knee injury in October 2011, and durability is a huge red flag.
He isn't a technically sound player and lacks team discipline with little gap integrity. The game comes easy to him and there are questions about whether he will put the work in to improve.
Forston has impressive movement skills for a player with his size and strength, but he isn't yet a finished product ~ raw ability isn't the concern with him, but he will be drafted based on potential.
Strengths: Looks the part with natural size and filled-out frame with good body thickness. Has good functional strength with some raw power to stay physical at the point of attack. Stays coordinated through contact and can anchor well in the run game, generating power from his lower half.
Quick-footed pass rusher with loose hips and good change of direction skills, moving very well for his size. Natural bender with a quick first step and the fluid movement skills to burst in any direction ~ smooth lateral range. Was productive when on the field, tallying 17.5 tackles for loss over his career.
Weaknesses: Plays upright and struggles with leverage. Too often stonewalled at the line of scrimmage and doesn't show the hand strength or technique to shed or redirect blockers. Unpolished fundamentally and doesn't appear as concerned with that part of his game. Has very little gap integrity and doesn't consistently play assignment football.
Not known as a workout warrior and there are questions about how important football is to him. Has strong durability concerns after his 2009 and 2011 seasons were ended prematurely, battling serious ankle and knee injuries. Also has some minor character issues after being suspended for the 2011 season opener for accepting improper benefits.
NFL Comparison: Derrick Marks, Tennessee Titans."
-- Dane Brugler
Forston exhibits a "plus" first step off the ball and can keep his pad level down on his initial six-inch step. He extends his arms well in both the run and pass game, displaying good length and good hand placement on contact.
He also showcases the ability to be violent with his hands when looking to disengage and can control blocks because of his natural power/hand placement. He does a nice job using an opposing blockers momentum against him in the run game, quickly sidestepping on contact and using a compact rip to disengage and close on the play.
Forston also showcases some natural suddenness as a pass rusher when slipping defenders as he keeps his hands active, extends his arms well and can make his way up the field.
Forston is a "plus" athlete in pursuit. He exhibits impressive range off his frame and when asked to stunt and loop toward the outside he can run the corner well, maintain balance and quickly eat up space.
However, despite showcasing the ability to bend and initially keep his pad level down on his first step. Forston has a tendency to consistently get upright off the football in both the run and pass game. This takes away from his balance when looking to disengage, his ability to anchor on contact and his overall push as a pass rusher.
You can tell he's a "plus" athlete for the position, but he needs to do a better job playing lower in all areas of the game. Too often he's overwhelmed on contact inside when trying to anchor vs. the run as he allows defenders to get under his pad level and he doesn't have the base needed to maintain balance, hold the point and shed.
The same imperfections show up in the pass game where he doesn't generate the kind of "pop" on contact his physical skill set says he should because of his higher pad level.
Now, even when he does get upright he can still slowly overwhelm his blocker, but he gets held up laterally too often when trying to slip/shed and simply doesn't play up to his talents consistently enough.
He also can have a tough time finding the football and will overrun the play inside, but that could have some to do with his lack of considerable experience. He gets a bit wild armed as a pass rusher as well when trying to slip blocks on contact, but again that's a technique thing that with some coaching and hard work can be improved on quickly.
Nevertheless, the biggest concern I have with Forston revolves around his health. He's missed significant time during both the 2009 (ankle) and 2011 season (knee) because of injuries and his medical report will likely be the key in determining just how high he goes.
Impression: The talent is most definitely there. There are some technique flaws that need to be addressed, as he has to play lower through contact in order to play up to his physical skill set. However, he's an explosive kid who can bend, has a good first step, natural power and is sudden enough to shed blocks in both the run and pass game."
Forston's size and bulk make him a legitimate defensive tackle prospect. He has the potential to play either the 3 technique or nose tackle in a 4-3 system. His strong lower half allows him to hold at the point and avoid getting moved off the line.
Forston's success is dependent on his snap awareness which helps him get off the line and penetrate the pocket. I see some upside with Forston but he will need a big season in order to be considered a high level prospect. He just isn't disruptive enough to warrant a high grade. The biggest issue is his lack of leverage and high pad level.
As soon as the ball is snapped, Forston raises his pad level and stands upright impacting his leverage and balance. This also limits his ability to generate a push on the pocket. His hand usage is inconsistent and less than ideal as he doesn't get his arms extended and into the body of the blocker.
Overall, Forston needs to make improvements and create more pressure to be considered a 1st or 2nd round prospect. His ideal fit seems to be as a nose tackle in a 4-3 but the potential is there for him to develop into a 3 technique option.
Bold Statement: Forston will not be a 1st round selection
Games Viewed: Ohio State ('10), Pittsburgh ('10), Florida State ('10), Notre Dame ('10)
- Forston has good size and lower body bulk
- He works hard and has a high motor
- His thick lower half allows Forston to anchor and hold at the point of attack
- The key to Forston's success is his snap awareness and ability to get a jump on the snap
- His awareness helps Forston penetrate the pocket and wreak havoc from time to time
- Forston plays too high and exposes to much of his frame
- He doesn't do a good job extending his arms and hands into the offensive lineman
- His poor pad level impacts his leverage and hinders his push on the pocket
- Forston struggles to disengage from the block and lacks the short area burst to make plays away from his frame"
Low-built player with good functional strength is very quick out of his stance; when he stays low can hold the point of attack when double-teamed and is also very disruptive upfield; can jump into gaps and bull his way into the backfield; also has the lateral quickness to make plays all the way to the sideline;
Has a good attitude and motor is always running; had 3 sacks and 9 other tackles for loss last fall; however, has gotten by in the past on his pure athleticism and isn’t all that technically polished; tends to pop up out of his stance and loses power and leverage; also doesn’t use his hands all that well and struggles to disengage;
Has been dinged at times and missed almost all the 2009 season with an MCL injury."
Quick first step off the line of scrimmage, is always one of the first linemen moving off the football, can eat up blockers and can push and pressure the pocket and disrupt the play, can slip through gaps and work his way into the backfield...
Good length, has shown some quick and violent hands; when he stays low, he has the ability to control blockers and keep them off his frame due to his power and hand placement... Strong lower body, flashes good hand play and a quick punch, he holds the point reasonably well... Former blue-chip recruit who can also be used on stunts and loops...
Above average range with the ability to make plays off his frame, solid lateral mobility and does a reasonably good job redirecting... Good motor, plays with a lot of energy, hustles to make plays in pursuit... Has some natural athleticism and some untapped potential but hasn't put it all together yet.
Negatives -- Needs to play with better pad level in both the run and pass game, gets too upright and linemen can get underneath him, engages a little high and exposes his frame; can struggle to maintain balance and loses control in these situations...
Needs to be more consistent with his hand usage, doesn't always extend his arms to engage the blocker... Can be overwhelmed versus bigger blockers in the run game, especially when blockers get underneath him, doesn't look very comfortable in stack and shed situations...
Will sometimes over-pursue inside on running plays, can be slow to locate the ball... Major durability issues, missed almost all the 2009 season with an MCL injury, played in just three games in 2011 before a knee injury ended his season...
Was one of eight players suspended for Miami's opening game at Maryland in 2011 due to taking extra benefits from a former booster... Looked out of shape at the beginning of this season...
Is still very raw, his high pad level often negates his physical skill set and he doesn't play to his potential with any consistency; however, has had success in college because of pure athleticism and many of his flaws are due to unpolished technique which can get better with good coaching."