When you think of the Oregon football offensive line, one name really comes to mind: Penei Sewell. That’s fair, though. He was the first Oregon offensive linemen chosen in the first round of the NFL draft since 2013 when Kyle Long was selected 20th overall by the Bears.
But the Ducks are slowly changing the national narrative. While they may not be an NFL factory along the line like Wisconsin, Ohio State, or Alabama, to name a few, the Ducks are recruiting linemen at an elite level and have some really valuable pieces left behind from the 2020 season.
The Ducks have a few guys who could receiver All-Pac-12 honors in 2021, but the one that really stands out as a near-lock for a first or second-team is Alex Forsyth.
Yes, a guy who is rarely talked about when naming the best centers in the country, but he was one of the best in college football in 2020’s shortened campaign, earning the 17th-highest grade by Pro Football Focus. He was also the Pac-12’s second-best center and he was named to the Coaches’ All-Pac-12 second team. But he’s not done yet.
Forsyth was just named to the preseason Rimington Trophy watch list and I could see him being a finalist by the end of the year.
He has the size at 6-3, 305 pounds, and he plays with a mean streak. He is earning some preseason respect and I think he has what it takes to make the All-Pac-12 first team in 2021 ahead of Oregon State’s Nathan Eldridge.
Oregon football’s first center drafted on Day 2 since 2015?
Forsyth will undoubtedly be the leader of the offensive line this season right smack-dab in the middle, and that includes a group that has a seventh-year senior in George Moore.
And I think he has the potential to make a big jump and be one of those top-five centers in the country and earn some draft consideration.
When was the last time Oregon had a center selected in the NFL draft? Just last year when Jake Hanson went in the sixth round, but he could be the first Day 2, or better, center pick for the Ducks since 2015 when Hroniss Grasu went in the third round to the Bears. There’s a good chance Forsyth could change that in 2022.
As long as he builds on that momentum from 2020, he should be a Day 2 prospect.