Packers Draft Preview: Western Kentucky OG Forrest Lamp
The departure of offensive line stalwart T.J. Lang this offseason stirred up a fresh round of speculation across the internet that the Packers were going to select a guard in the first round of the NFL Draft. And not just any guard, but Western Kentucky’s Forrest Lamp.
This past week, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reported Lamp has drawn interest from the Packers, Vikings and Seahawks. Pauline recently spoke with The Power Sweep on a recent episode of our podcast, Blue 58, about the draft.
Half of last year’s Pro Bowl guards were selected in the first round of the draft, so talk of Green Bay finding Lang’s replacement with their initial pick is worthy of consideration. Since 2014, the first guard selected has been between picks 28 and 33. The Packers will pick 29th.
What are Lamp’s strengths?
- Excelled at the blocking techniques used in Green Bay’s zone scheme.
- Played left tackle in college, but can play any offensive line position.
- Held his own against high-end teams like LSU in 2015 and Alabama in 2016.
- Great lower body balance when pass or run blocking by not bending at the waist.
What are Lamp’s weaknesses?
- Second-shortest arms (32 1/4) among all offensive tackles or guards.
- Played against lower quality opponents in college.
- Average frame limits how much he can bulk up as a professional.
- Green Bay will most likely play him at guard, where he never started in college.
How Forrest Lamp fits with the Packers
It’s easy to connect this tackle-turned-guard to the Packers, who are in need of a starting guard.
Lamp’s short arms have limited talk about his prospects as a tackle in the lead-up to the draft. Having longer arms helps offensive lineman counter-balance speedy pass rushers, something Lamp would not have to deal with playing guard.
The Packers 2010 first-round pick Bryan Bulaga fell in the draft because of short arms, too. His arms measured an inch longer than Lamp’s (33 1/4 to 32 1/4), and have not stopped him from being one of the game’s best offensive tackles.
While the immediate short-term spot for Lamp is guard, if he is selected the Packers may have the flexibility to play him anywhere along the offensive line.
Will the Packers draft Forrest Lamp?
It’s no secret Green Bay has targeted players from the Senior Bowl, played after the conclusion of the college season, in the draft:
- In 2009, B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews both had spectacular weeks at the Senior Bowl and both met with the Packers.
- In 2011, Derek Sherrod held his own against edge rusher Von Miller.
- In 2013, Datone Jones has an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl.
- In 2015, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins were roommates at the Senior Bowl.
At this year’s Senior Bowl, Lamp excelled and was heralded as one of the top rising stars after the week of competition.
In 2010, MMQB writer Greg Bedard was covering the Packers for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. After spending time studying Green Bay’s draft approach, Bedard wrote that “Thompson, especially early in draft, likes to take more experienced players, guys that are more known commodities.”
Lamp certainly fits the description.