Building Up Front: Scouting WKU Guard Forrest Lamp as a Fit for the Miami Dolphins
Forrest Lamp was recruited as a two-star, first-team all state prospect from Venice, FL. After receiving no big-time scholarships from programs in his home state, Lamp chose to attend Western Kentucky, a smaller school in Conference USA where he would have a chance to play right away. After a redshirt year at WKU in which he played 3 games at G, Lamp took the reigns as LT and never let go. Lamp finished his career with 51 starts on the offensive line. At WKU, he earned first-team Conference USA honors his junior and senior year, as well as third-team AP All-American as a senior. After an impressive combine and a ton of hype at the Senior Bowl, Lamp finds himself climbing up NFL draft boards at the perfect time.
Lamp plays with great technique as both a pass blocker and run blocker. He has a very level playing style when pass blocking; his flexible lower body allows for fluid lateral movements. Having such a balanced pass blocking style allows Lamp to keep from getting bull rushed off of the line, a necessary attribute for his eventual transition to dealing with bigger interior defensive players at guard. Lamp is also an asset in the screen and outside running games. His fluid lower body will allow him to get to the second level or outside quickly to wall off a linebacker or DB. In the first play below, Lamp shows his great footwork to get the outside. He then has the agility and control to break down in front of the defender and mirror his man in open space to complete the block and spring the ball carrier.
In this play below, Lamp displays great backside cut blocking, a key block to be able to make in the NFL. With the run call designed to go to the strong side, Lamp’s responsibility is to cut the weakside end. As the play develops, the strongside breaks down with good penetration by the defense, but because of Lamp’s cut block on the backside, the RB reverses his course, cuts back to Lamp’s side and finds a huge lane to run through for the TD.
The biggest asset that has Forrest Lamp climbing up draft boards is his ability to play multiple positions. He started at LT for 3 years at WKU, played some guard in his first season, and is projected to play guard and/or center in the NFL. Lamp’s versatility will likely lead him to be selected as the first guard in the draft, as teams could plug him in anywhere on the O-line if they find themselves battling injuries throughout the season.
Though Lamp is one of the better blockers overall in this draft class, he isn’t always an asset in the power run game. He has shown inconsistency in his hand placement when executing on power runs or short yardage plays. He tends to be late when shooting his hands, allowing the defender to get the inside leverage and overpower Lamp at the LOS. He will need to refine his hand technique and placement when attempting to power through defenders. In the play below, Lamp fails to get his hands inside on the initial punch and loses his leverage instantly.
With making the move from LT to guard, Lamp will have to be more aware of blitzes coming through his zone. At LT, he did a great job with picking up initial blitzers off the edge, but struggled at times when teams would load up his side. He will need to be more aware of blitz packages from much better competition at the next level, especially moving to a different position. In the play below, the defense loads up both the B-gap on a stunt and C-gap outside to blow past Lamp for a sack.
How He Fits With the Dolphins:
With Branden Albert’s departure upstate and Laremy Tunsil returning to his natural position at LT, the Dolphins have once again created a hole in their interior offensive line. However, Lamp would be the perfect example of a Round 1 plug-and-play option. He has the skills and body type to make a seamless transition to LG, offering a chance to make an immediate impact at a position of need for the currently-porous Dolphins OL. One of the most intriguing elements of Lamp as an option for Miami is his ability to play anywhere on the line; he has background at tackle, experience at guard and the skill set to succeed as a center in the NFL. With the Dolphins’ OL in constant flux, having a blocker that can plug holes and continue to play all positions at a high level would be an absolute luxury.
Speaking of luxury: