Packers 2017 NFL Draft: Forrest Lamp a potential target to replace T.J. Lang
In a matter of days, the Green Bay Packers have lost two of their best offensive linemen. Forrest Lamp could help.
T.J. Lang and JC Tretter have moved on, leaving a gaping hole at the right guard spot. Unless the Packers plan on handing Don Barclay the starting job or shifting Kyle Murphy inside, they will need to find talent from elsewhere.
Ted Thompson built the majority of the offensive line on the draft’s third day, but given the fact he needs immediate help, selecting a lineman earlier is very much in play.
That’s where Forrest Lamp can help.
Described by CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler as “the NFL’s next great guard prospect”, and by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah as “one of the more technically sound linemen you’ll see at the college level”, Lamp could make an immediate impact for the Pack.
Despite playing tackle at Western Kentucky, Lamp’s future at the NFL level is likely at an interior position. He’s drawn comparisons to Dallas Cowboys All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Being compared to the best in the business says a lot about the projected first-rounder.
And All-Pro status could be in Lamp’s future.
It’s difficult to find many weaknesses in his game, and he could provide instant help to the interior of the Packers offensive line. Lamp is capable of opening running lanes and can slow interior rushers.
While grabbing a guard in the first round might not be a flashy pick, or one that helps the league’s No. 31 pass defense, it’s a move that could ensure the Packers have a guard they can trust for many years to come.
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After all, keeping Aaron Rodgers upright is the single most important task the Packers face each Sunday.
The 6-foot-4, 309-pounder exited the Senior Bowl early with a sprained ankle, but he put together a strong showing in limited time. Anything else at this point would be a bonus; Lamp already projects as an excellent starting guard at the NFL level.
In a world sans Lang and Tretter, the Packers must ensure they are restocking their pool of talent along the line. Finding Lang’s successor is priority numero uno, but depth is also a concern.
Lamp can help there, too. With experience at tackle, he could suit up across the line if needed. That’s a quality the Packers lost the moment Tretter walked out the door.
Not many will like the idea of selecting a guard in the first round; Dom Capers’ unit needs a lot of work, after all. But consider this: Thompson now needs to fix a Pro Bowl-shaped hole along his offensive line, and it’s one of the team’s top priorities.
He has found success selecting linemen on day three and may continue this trend. But if Ted goes early, Lamp’s name should be in strong consideration.
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