What do you do when you have an athletic, technically sound left tackle who just isn’t quite long enough to stick at tackle in the pros?
The answer of the last few years is to move them inside if they have the power to stand up to defensive tackles. Zach Martin, Justin Pugh, and Joel Bitonio have excelled as former left tackles who have transitioned inside. That seems like the natural progression for Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp.
Lamp was a capable left tackle in college, but at 6’4”, and having just 32 1⁄4 inch arms, he doesn’t have the desired length to match up against NFL edge rushers, who could have half a foot worth of reach on him. However, as a technician with a solid strength foundation, he is a strong candidate to slide inside.
With John Jerry a 30 year old free agent, could the Giants look to Lamp to solidify the inside of their offensive line?
- Technician with great feet and hand usage.
- Easy mover who mirrors well, plays with leverage, and has an accurate punch
- Highly competitive and very tough. Plays through the whistle, regardless of the opponent
- Moves well in space. Has “tackle” feet, which should be an advantage pulling, blocking for screens, or blocking at the second level.
- Isn’t often fooled by stunts or twists on the defensive line.
- Performed very well at guard in Senior Bowl practices
- Short arms might still limit him inside against longer tackles
- Will have to get used to playing a much faster game. Not just moving inside, but also a leap in competition
- Might need to add size to anchor against bull rushers
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Lamp would certainly fit the Giants’ offensive line, though the question of whether he can play on the right side would need to be answered. Lamp is remarkably similar to Justin Pugh (and Zach Martin) and would likely benefit similarly from a move inside at the next level. However, with Pugh entrenched on the left side, Lamp would likely play on the right side. There, the question would be whether or not he has the strength and power to complement Pugh and Weston Richburg’s athleticism.
However, having the flexibility of three smart, athletic, and competitive interior linemen could make for interesting blocking schemes.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 17th overall
CBS Sports - 35th overall
Draft Countdown - 28th overall
Draft Tek - 30st overall
Lamp’s ultimate draft stock is going to be based on projection. How well will he stand up inside? He played well at the Senior Bowl, largely stonewalling every defender he faced at guard in 1-on-1 drills. However, teams will have to be comfortable with the idea that they largely haven’t seen him play the position they will ask him to play.
But while his college tape is of a left tackle, he does show promising traits, such as his ability to play in space on the edge, mirror defenders in pass protection, and his toughness as a blocker. All in all, he’s a player you want to bet on to make a successful transition.