Why the Slide?: Forrest Lamp

By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Three years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. A year later, we started the Why Slide? series, and this year, it is back. Feel free to email me requests for “Why the Slide?” and “Why Undrafted?” at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely respond.

One of the prospects who got a lot of hype during the lead up to the 2017 NFL Draft was Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock raved about Lamp and was a big proponent of him being a first-round pick and the top offensive line prospect for this draft class. Lamp had a solid career at Western Kentucky, including a 2016 tape against Alabama that received a lot of media hype, and also played well at the Senior Bowl before an injury cut short his time in Mobile. However in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lamp slid to the second round before being selected near the end of the top 40 picks.

According to sources, Lamp was over-inflated by the media. A lot of teams felt the appropriate value for Lamp was going in the second round. He doesn’t have an exceptional skill set with rare size, strength, speed or athleticism. Thus, he was viewed as more of a solid second-rounder.

The Los Angeles Chargers ended Lamp’s fall, and that was a great landing spot for him. The Chargers needed to find offensive tackle and guard help this offseason. After signing Russell Okung to man left tackle, they needed more help at guard. Lamp should be a plug-and-play starter at guard for the Chargers. He has a lot of talent around him with a talented running back in Melvin Gordon, who makes his line look good, and a great quarterback in Philip Rivers, who can bail his line out. Another asset to helping Lamp develop is 2017 third-round pick Indiana guard Dan Feeney. The two are friends and could form a nice guard tandem for the Chargers for many years to come. With 2016 third-rounder Max Tuerk, the team should have a talented young trio. Lamp looks like a safe bet to turn into reliable starter for the Chargers as soon as his rookie season.

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