Western Kentucky's Forrest Lamp might be latest in
MOBILE, Ala. – Few offensive linemen <a href="http://www.coltsshopauthentic.com/shop-by-players-12-andrew-luck-jersey-c-1_4.html">12 Andrew Luck Womens Jersey</a> left a mark on Alabama's brilliant pass-rushing trio of Ryan Anderson, Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen, three dominant players who will likely be all off the board in the first two rounds of the draft.
But one player on the Crimson Tide's schedule left an impression.
Forrest Lamp, the Western Kentucky left tackle who has also been mentioned as a potential first-round pick, gave Alabama's best pass rushers all they could handle.
"He didn't make many mistakes, technically sound, good competitor," Anderson said. "He was probably the best tackle I played all year."
Lamp's performance against Alabama was only the latest in a long line of eye-opening showings against top-tier schools. Lamp acquitted himself well against LSU's Arden Key in 2015, took on Illinois's Jihad Ward the year before and played games against Tennessee and Kentucky in his first two seasons on campus.
The body of work Lamp put together has made him one of the most coveted offensive linemen in the draft.
"Any time you get praise from some of the best players in the country – and those guys definitely are, Tim Williams, Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson –any time some of the best players in the country give you a shout-out, it's going to help," Lamp said.
The question now is what position Lamp will play in the NFL.
Lamp, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighed in at 305 pounds, has shorter arms (31 1/8 inches) than some teams like at tackle, where a blocker has to <a href="http://www.officialchargesshop.com/shop-by-players-brandon-mebane-jersey-c-1_6.html">Brandon Mebane Jersey</a> be able to keep NFL edge rushers from getting into his body.
His arms, plus his versatility, has prompted many analysts to project a move to guard, where Lamp might be the top player available at the position, along with Indiana's Dan Feeney, even though he hasn't played guard since he was a freshman at Western Kentucky.
"Every team's different," Lamp said. "Beauty's in the eye of the beholder. For some teams it's tackle, for some it's guard; some see me as a center."
The New Orleans Saints wanted to take a guard in the draft last year, but a couple of their targets came off the board at the end of the first round, and depending on free agency, the position could be on their radar again.
Veteran Jahri Evans played well in his 11th season at the position, but he's a free agent at the age of 33, and at some point in the future, the plan has been left guard Andrus Peat is expected to move to right tackle to take over for Zach Strief whenever<a href="http://www.authenticcowboyssale.com/shop-by-players-anthony-hitchens-jersey-c-2_17.html">http://www.authenticcowboyssale.com/shop-by-players-anthony-hitchens-jersey-c-2_17.html</a> his career's done, although Peat seems more comfortable on the left side.
Peat's an example of a recent trend of college tackles who have started at guard in the NFL. Both Washington's Brandon Scherff and Dallas's Zack Martin were college left tackles who have become standout guards in the NFL, and although there's a transition to be expected, Lamp might be next.
For Lamp, the biggest difference between the two positions is the speed of the game.
"How fast everything happens," Lamp said. "At tackle, I've got three or four steps before I even make contact, where at guard it's as soon as I set."
Except for three games as a freshman at Western Kentucky, Lamp has always been a tackle, but he's confident he can make the switch if a team needs him to play inside at the next level.
"It'll be a little less comfortable, just because I'm not used to it," Lamp said. "But I feel like I'm versatile enough that if I practiced <a href="http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-barry-church-jersey-c-2_36.html">http://www.authenticcowboysstore.com/shop-by-players-barry-church-jersey-c-2_36.html</a> there for a week or two, went through live practices and feel my way through everything, I can be just fine."
More than fine, if the Alabama defensive line has anything to say about it.
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