The Los Angeles Chargers love Lamp.
The Chargers grabbed Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp in the second round Friday, snagging the 6-foot-4, 300-pound behemoth widely considered to be a first-round talent with the 38th overall pick. Sticking to the offensive theme, the Bolts took Indiana guard Dan Feeney, who is 6-4, 310 pounds, in the third round, with the 71st pick overall.
Lamp played left tackle for the Hilltoppers, and he became the highest-drafted player in school history. He is likely to be a guard for the Chargers, who signed free-agent left tackle Russell Okung to a four-year deal last month.
“Hopefully I can be a leader out there, a guy who leads by example and does the right thing at the right time,” Lamp said. “And hopefully an athletic guy who can give Philip Rivers more time and give Melvin Gordon a few more yards per carry.”
Coach Anthony Lynn said the Chargers were sold on Lamp’s versatility along the line. They tried to trade up to grab him before he fell to them.
Lamp and Feeney were the second and third straight offensive players drafted by the Chargers to help Rivers and Gordon in their attempt to rebound from a 5-11 season. They picked receiver Mike Williams with the seventh overall selection on Thursday.
The Chargers struggled on the offensive line last year due to inconsistent play and injuries. They released left tackle King Dunlap and right guard D.J. Fluker earlier this year.
Lamp and Feeney are expected to contribute immediately.
“When you have a chance to shore up an O-line with two good young players like that, you do it,” said Lynn, who was a backup running back and special teams player in his NFL career. “I still think the game is played up front, O-line, D-line. There was value there, there was talent there, so we made the move.”
While both Lamp and Feeney have played tackle, Lynn said they’ll play guard for the Chargers.
Feeney said he got to know Lamp at the Senior Bowl and the combine, and is looking forward to helping to protect Rivers.
“I think he’s one of the greats,” Feeney said. “I’m excited to be blocking for him. My job is to keep him safe. I’m stoked for this opportunity.”
Lynn said the Chargers — who are still operating out of San Diego until the end of June — will need to address defense on Saturday.
“At some point we’re going to have to get some defense or the defensive coaches are going to jump off the building,” Lynn cracked.