Well this is a shock isn’t it? I mean come on post-NFL draft no one had Forrest pegged to be the best rookie drafted by the Rams. Everyone however, felt it would be no.1 overall pick Jared Goff and fourth-round WR Pharoh Cooper or even fourth-round TE Tyler Higbee. It’s not though surprisingly it’s the LB out of Kentucky.
So how good has Forrest been? Well, he really hasn’t been amazing but he’s improved weekly. He even had a very crucial fumble recovery in the Rams close win over Arizona. Forrest last week had two big tackles for losses when he dissected the play came out of his position and rushed the edge containing the outside and stuffing the ball-carrier behind the line.
It’s a very small sample size but Forrest is clearly the Rookie of the year for the Rams with Tyler Higbee being used extremely minimally in the passing game, Goff being the backup to Case Keenum, Temarrick Hemingway failing to stand out, Pharoh Cooper failing to get on the field and Mike Thomas who has made an impact on special teams like Forrest but really can’t get on the field during offensive possessions like Forrest can with defensive possessions.
Forrest has flashed the ability with his quick break off the snap to be a possible pass rusher and a run stuffing monster. His size and speed combination is the exact reason the Rams were willing to part with Akeem Ayers. Forrest already has logged over 100 snaps on special teams and over 60 on defense.
Here’s Forrest shown on tape with his ability to penetrate through a defensive line and use his speed to tackle a ball-carrier for a loss when coming from the other side of the field.
Picture 1: Forrest is lineup and ready to blitz.
Picture 2: Forrest sees the pulling man going to the right and goes through the empty gap
Picture 3: Forrest explodes through the gap in which many linebackers would not finish this play he is able to close in on RB Zack Zenner and bring him down for a two yard loss. This is also a well designed play in which you can tell Gregg Williams knew the Lions were running here.
The last play I am going to show you is my favorite I have seen all season out of Josh Forrest. It’s a 1st down play and the first play of the new drive as the Lions take over at the 40 after Hekker was backed up in his own end zone to punt the ball. Watch what Forrest does here.
Picture 1: Forrest is lined up as an outside linebacker.
Picture 2: Forrest sees a man go in motion and immediately gets out of his position and shows blitz.
Picture 3: Forrest clearly liked his chances versus the TE as he blasts through him preparing to put a hit on the ball-carrier.
Picture 4: Forrest completely blows by the TE and crushes RB Justin Forsett behind the line for a loss of six. This play was huge because it set the tone early on the drive. Unfortunately a great play like this was followed up with a touchdown given up but Forrest really shows some serious awareness on this play.
Now, this isn’t me saying Forrest is a future Pro Bowler but I figured he is clearly the Rams ROY so far and quite honestly watching him on tape (seeing as he was the only day three pick I didn’t love) he actually is impressing me. I hope Gregg Williams starts to use Forrest more often because he is continuing to get better weekly and that same awareness I said he showed off on the play above, he showed when he recovered that crucial fumble. Hopefully the other rookies get something going but right now Josh Forrest should indeed be your midseason Rams rookie of the year.