NFL draft profile: No. 21 — Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp, short-armed battler

Western Kentucky OG-C-OT Forrest Lamp
6-foot-4, 309 pounds

Key stat: Put up excellent numbers at the NFL scouting combine that ranked among the tops among offensive linemen, especially those projected to play inside in the NFL: 34 bench-press reps, 1.70 10-yard split, 4.62 short shuttle and 7.55 3-cone drill.

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Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp, left, played well in big matchups in college. (AP)
Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp, left, played well in big matchups in college. (AP)

The skinny: Under-recruited prep standout was forced to leave the Tampa area to make the trek north to find his best opportunity. After redshirting in 2012 to gain weight, Lamp stepped in as a starter for the Hilltoppers in 2013 (three games at right guard before moving to left tackle for the final nine). He started the next 30 straight games through the 2016 season at left tackle before missing two contests (Vanderbilt and Houston Baptist) with a knee sprain and bruise. Lamp then returned to start the final nine games of his career there, including the Boca Raton Bowl in which he caught a 9-yard TD pass to cap off his career:

Western Kentucky OT Forrest Lamp was rewarded in his final college game with a TD pass. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)
Western Kentucky OT Forrest Lamp was rewarded in his final college game with a TD pass. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)

Lamp was a two-time captain at WKU and was named first-team all-Conference USA in 2015 and 2016. He was forced to leave the Senior Bowl after one day of practice after suffering a high ankle sprain. He will turn 23 this season.

Best-suited destination: After spending the majority of his time in college at left tackle, a move inside — either to center or guard — is likely in the NFL. His position will depend on what team Lamp lands with, but he has been practicing time snapping from center and has some limited game action at guard. We also could see him filling a gameday role as an emergency tackle, which only adds to his value, and not embarrassing himself whatsoever. Teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks could be especially interested in his services, but really, Lamp would have value to almost any blocking system.

Upside: Hard-working committed pro in waiting. Credited by coaching staff for his leadership and film work. Selfless and workmanlike. Wants to be coached up. Very athletic — good lateral movement skills, quick feet and good burst. Effective cut blocker. Moves well on draws and screens and can work through traffic to get out to the second level. Nice endurance — finished plays and game strong. Acquitted himself very well in big games against Alabama and LSU, especially against the pass rush of Bama’s Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson, who top-50 prospects. In a rep that shows how Lamp (No. 76) might handle himself on the interior in the NFL, watch as he brawls and pushes back Bama DT Dalvin Tomlinson (No. 94), a Day 2 talent with some of the best anchor strength in this year’s class:

Western Kentucky OT Forrest Lamp shows good power here vs. Alabama. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)
Western Kentucky OT Forrest Lamp shows good power here vs. Alabama. (Draftbreakdown.com, via YouTube)

Durable (started 51 of 53 college games), tough and versatile. Willing to switch positions on next level and has spent time perfecting his snapping.

Downside: Short arms (32 1/4 inches) and torso that could prevent him from ever being an NFL tackle. Has never played center in a game before. Played in the low 290s during the season and could have trouble adding weight or sustaining it. Lacks desired bulk to make him a good fit in a power-running offense. Has battled through wrist injuries and might have trouble snapping. Some teams only view Lamp as a guard. Didn’t always match up well with power players and doesn’t overpower people. Was worked over in one-on-one drills in his one day at the Senior Bowl by Villanova DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, suggesting Lamp could struggle against longer-armed defenders.

Scouting hot take: “You have to make him a guard. Maybe you cross-train him at center. He reminds me a little of the N.C. State kid [Joe Thuney], who was ready to step in for [the New England Patriots] mentally from Day 1 but had to be helped out and got tossed around a few times when he wasn’t.” — NFL college scouting director

Player comp: Thuney, a third-round pick last year who had an up-and-down rookie season but played nearly every snap for the Super Bowl champions and is considered a building block up front.

Expected draft range: First-round pick

Previous profiles

Nos. 51-100: Here’s who just missed the cut
No. 50: Indiana OG-C Dan Feeney
No. 49: Iowa DB Desmond King
No. 48: Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham
No. 47: Wisconsin pass rusher T.J. Watt
No. 46. Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams
No. 45. Washington CB Sidney Jones
No. 44. Alabama LB Ryan Anderson
No. 43. Ohio State WR-RB Curtis Samuel
No. 42. Florida DT Caleb Brantley
No. 41. Connecticut DB Obi Melifonwu
No. 40. USC CB-KR Adoree’ Jackson
No. 39. Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
No. 38. Michigan State DL Malik McDowell
No. 37: Ole Miss TE Evan Engram
No. 36: Florida LB Jarrad Davis
No. 35: Washington S Budda Baker
No. 34: Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon
No. 33: Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
No. 32: Florida CB Quincy Wilson
No. 31: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara
No. 30: Michigan DB-RS Jabrill Peppers
No. 29: Alabama OT Cam Robinson
No. 28: Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer
No. 27: LSU CB Tre’Davious White
No. 26: Missouri DE Charles Harris
No. 25: UCLA pass rusher Takkarist McKinley
No. 24: Michigan DE Taco Charlton
No. 23: Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
No. 22: Utah OT Garett Bolles

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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