The 19th overall selection in the 2017 NFL draft is owned by yours truly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a big season this draft selection could determine whether or not they can propel this team to the next level… so who will it be?
The Buccaneers still have many holes to fill on both sides of the ball, especially the holes across both of their lines. The weakness in the trenches has consistently been an issue for the Bucs for quite some time now, but this could all change in this upcoming draft.
Forrest Lamp out of Western Kentucky University is a guy to keep an eye on in the upcoming weeks. This strong 6’4″ 300 pound left tackle has been a staple in the recent years and success of the Hilltoppers.
This two-star recruit out of Venice Beach Florida (which is only around an hour from Tampa), was redshirted his freshman year, but went on to have four successful seasons starting at both right guard (four games) and left tackle.
The versatile offensive lineman received much praise from his coaches, and even graded out to be one of the best and most consistent for consecutive years in the conference.
Lets take a look at the tape.
The reason for choosing the Alabama game is to prove the fact that Lamp can stand strong versus a top-tier opponent. Not only did Lamp have a stellar game, but he also stone walled various defenders. Up against arguably one of the best front sevens for in college football for quite some time, Lamp did not waiver.
If you take a close look, going up against Jonathan Allen (a top five selection in this year’s draft) and Tim Williams (a first round talent in this year’s draft), Lamp managed to win his battles.
Lamp is built like a brick house and very rarely loses based upon strength. His fluid motions make him a standout from lineman in this year’s weak class, and his ability to get the next level is great.
Lamp’s draft stock has recently began to sky rocket now that draft season is in full swing, and it is rightfully deserved. I personally have preached endlessly about the inabilities of this upcoming line class, until I was able to take a further look a Lamp.
Lamp has drawn comparisons to that of Zack Martin, the now All-Pro guard for the Dallas Cowboys. Both four-year starters at left tackle who seem to have a better ability to play guard at the next level due to their characteristics and size. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network even had Lamp listed as his 16th overall prospect in this upcoming draft.
"Lamp carries weight well on his 6-foot-4 frame. He excelled at offensive tackle in college, but I believe it would be in his best interest to move inside to guard at the next level. This is one of the more technically sound linemen you’ll see at the college level. He is quick out of his stance and he bends really well. He keeps his hands in tight and consistently stays on balance. He is always very patient and doesn’t overextend. In the run game, he runs his feet on contact and generates movement at the point of attack. He was lights-out against Alabama. His lack of ideal height and length could be an issue in the NFL but that would be alleviated with a move to guard. Overall, Lamp is very strong, consistent and reliable, which should allow him to get on the field right away.”"
So where does he fit with the Bucs? First and foremost Buc faithful has preached endlessly about the inability of the offensive line, but I personally have projected very little change in this year’s upcoming season. Well, here is a curve ball.
Let us say that the Bucs walk up to the podium and select Forrest Lamp. Many of have been focused on the abilities of both the team’s left tackle and right tackle, but I can assure you that the Bucs will not give up on Donovan Smith. Drafting Lamp not only gives you a versatile lineman and insurance on both of the bookends, but he also gives you a day one starter at guard.
I for one will be at the lead of the charge for Ali Marpet to move to center. A fan of Joe Hawley, yes, but the interior of the line has been beaten up and thrown around too regularly. Marpet at center, would help give the guards some much-needed stability in the center of the line.
J.R. Sweezy is projected to return this season which answers the bell for one of the guards which leaves one final spot open for Lamp. Kevin Pamphile is the odd man out, yes, because both Lamp and Sweezy add a level of physicality he does not.
From left to right the Bucs could lineup Donovan Smith, J.R. Sweezy, Ali Marpet, Forrest Lamp, and Demar Doston. Solidifying the offensive line with a possible all-pro is something you can just not pass up on. This also allows Jameis Winston to step up into the pocket, which is something he has not be able to do regularly in his time in Tampa.
Lamp may not be the most attractive selection at 19th overall, but that does not mean it could not happen. Arguably, out of the weak offensive line class this versatile lineman is the safest selection of them all.
What do you think Buc fans? Like what I have to say? If so follow me on Twitter and we can talk about anything Bucs. Siege the day.