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Alabama Crimson Tide NFL Draft 2021 Prospects: Miller Forristall

Though not a nationally known name, Forristall has been a staple on the Tide depth chart for half a decade

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many, many moons ago, there was a tall, athletic QB in Cartersville, GA who was making some noise. His name was Miller Forristall. A few moons later, another taller, more athletic QB came up in Cartersville name Trevor Lawrence, and Forristall made the move to tight end lest he wind up making a permanent move to the bench.

Forristall went on to become an impact pass catcher for the younger Lawrence in his final two seasons, and enrolled at Alabama in 2016. He was still fairly new to the position and rather lanky, but had undeniable talent getting downfield and catching tough passes. Many billed him as the upcoming replacement for superstar TE O.J. Howard.

Forristall found his way onto the depth chart as a true freshman and played in every game that season, catching 5 passes on the year, including one in crunch time against LSU. He added about 15 pounds after his freshman year in order to improve as a blocker and become a full-time TE for the Tide. He played a fairly prominent role at the start of 2017, but wound up tearing up his knee in the 3rd game and was granted a medical redshirt.

When he returned in 2018, he was clearly a few steps slower than he was before, and found himself passed on the depth chart by the hyper-athletic Irv Smith, who had built a rapport with Tua Tagovailoa in Forristall’s absence and parlayed that into a high NFL draft pick.

Forristall finally got back into the fold as a starter again in 2019. He only caught 15 passes, but turned those into 4 touchdowns. After some struggles as a blocker earlier in his career he became one of the better blockers on the team during his two years without getting a single catch. This season, too, was cut short due to injury— this time it was an errant hit to the throat box that sidelined him for the last quarter of the season.

He returned as a redshirt senior in 2020 to have the best season of his career, going for 253 yards on the season. He had a number of important 3rd down conversions in the SEC championship game against Florida and the Semifinal against Notre Dame.

Though he never quite turned into the athletic pass catcher many expected as a recruit, Forristall did wind up displaying great hands on a number of high-pointed sideline fades his senior year, and even got a few tight end screens to show off his running ability. He showed significant improvement as a blocker from his freshman year to his senior year, and was constantly one of the most common players to do interviews with the media in his final two seasons.

NFL teams looking to draft him in the final two rounds would be getting a guy with decent speed, good hands, decent blocking, and a whole lot of seniority and leadership skills. He’s generally viewed as a 6th round pick at best, though he could definitely wind up falling through the cracks to become an undrafted free agent.

Even big guys can have jukes!