Western Kentucky lineman Forrest Lamp a Zack Martin starter kit

DALLAS - Forrest Lamp – Redshirt Senior – Guard – Western Kentucky – 6’4” 309 lbs. – Hometown: Venice, FL

Is Forrest Lamp the next Zack Martin? The comparison is just too easy. Both were four year starters at left tackle, the most important position along the offensive line. And both Lamp and Martin weren't just starters at an important position, they were dominate college football players.

However, because of size concerns, both players were projected to move inside from tackle to guard in the NFL. It's not too often that you'll see offensive guards projected as top 20 picks in the NFL Draft. Zack Martin was the 16th pick by the Cowboys in 2014 and Forrest Lamp is projected to get selected in a similar range.

Forrest Lamp first gained recognition for his play against Alabama earlier in the year. Below is an example of Forrest Lamp’s ability. On the 3rd and short, he’s lined up against potential top 5 pick Jonathan Allen.

Forrest starts low, gaining leverage by exploding under the pad level of Allen. He finishes the block using his strength to push Allen down the line opening a hole for the running back to get a first down. Combining leverage and power allows Lamp to block one of the best players in college football.

In addition to being a powerful run blocker, Lamp is athletic and can be used on the move as a run blocker. At Western Kentucky, Lamp was used on screens and toss sweep plays outside as the lead blocker. Offensive linemen asked to locate and block on the move must combine quickness and athleticism. 

Above is a fun clip of Lamp using his quickness to pull outside and lead block. He locates the linebacker while absolutely destroying him. When I first saw this play, I jotted down “WOW.” As a run blocker, he can block utilizing his power and quickness. 

Not only is Lamp a great run blocker, but he is as good as they come in the college game as a pass blocker. These are two different clips against Alabama displaying what makes Lamp successful. Keep in mind, Alabama DE’s Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams are two of the best pass rushers in this entire draft this year.

Alabama's Allen predicates his pass rushing ability on power and technique. Allen whoops SEC offensive linemen daily but can’t figure out how to beat this Western Kentucky offensive linemen.

On this particular play, Allen is trying to get inside while pushing Lamp into the QB. However, Lamp cuts his inside rush off, then uses his leverage and strength to push Allen inside and prevent him from pressuring the QB.

Tim Williams is a totally different animal than Jonathan Allen is. Williams relies on quickness, explosiveness, and tries to get around blockers with speed. This is a 3rd and long passing down and Lamp knows Williams is going to use his outside speed rush.

By using his quick kick slide, Lamp meets Williams on the outside and cuts off his speed rush. He then finishes the block by pushing him up field, allowing his quarterback to step up in the pocket.

This is a clip of one of the few times Lamp got beat. Expecting Williams to rush outside, Lamp was beat when Williams cut inside. Lamp could not match Williams’s elite change of direction.

Lamp’s lack of length and elite change of direction are the only flaws in his game which is why he'll likely end up at guard in the NFL. Guards at the next level work in short areas and they usually do not need to have long arms or exceptional directional quickness to be successful.

Forrest Lamp is a top 20 pick all day and should be one of the better starting guards in the NFL instantly. His background and skill set mimics Cowboys right guard Zack Martin. Lamp’s team will be pleased if he can have a similar impact that Martin has had for the Cowboys.

For more thoughts on the NFL Draft, the Cowboys, and loving Lamp, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron Bunten.
 

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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