Chargers select two offensive linemen on second day of draft
Everything changed for Forrest Lamp when he was 10 years old.
For his entire life, people probably made jokes about his first name, people probably shouting “Run, Forrest. Run,” and told him that “life is like a box of chocolates.”
But the summer after he turned 10, the script literally got flipped. “Anchorman” was released in theaters in the summer of 2004 and quickly became one of the most quotable movies for a generation.
From then on, “I love Lamp” has followed the Chargers’ new second-round pick from Venice, Fla., to Western Kentucky. And soon, the player with the Hollywood names will have it follow him to Los Angeles.
“Ever since that movie came out, I hear it everywhere I go,” Lamp said. “Usually, the opposing fans, if we’re at an away game, never stop chanting it. So it’s pretty funny. Obviously, that one line kind of made my last name a little bit more famous than it should be.”
The Chargers hope Lamp, one of the top offensive linemen in the draft, can make his name famous on his own in Los Angeles, keeping quarterback Philip Rivers off the turf and running back Melvin Gordon staring at openings in the defense.
He’ll move from left tackle inside to guard, though he thinks he can play every position on the line. Lamp’s performance in tiny Western Kentucky’s game against college football behemoth Alabama got the attention of football evaluators everywhere, Chargers coach Anthony Lynn included.
“To me, that was the game where he really got my attention. He was really good in the other games, but in the Alabama game, he really played his best game,” Lynn said. “That’s what you want when you’re looking at these athletes, you want them to play their best against the best competition. I feel like he did.”
The Chargers tried to move up from the sixth pick in the second round to take Lamp, but they couldn’t get a deal done. Circumstances, though, allowed them to get the player they wanted with their original selection.
“He just fell right into our lap,” Lynn said.
The team addressed the interior offensive line again in the third round, selecting All-American guard Dan Feeney out of Indiana.
Feeney, who decided to stay in college for his senior season instead of going pro, said he was “stoked” to be coming to Los Angeles. In his final year of college, he was asked to play multiple positions because of injuries to the Hoosiers offensive line.
“I think I showed my versatility, where I can go out and play tackle,” Feeney said. “Probably naturally, I’ll be more of an interior guy in the NFL. I think it showed I’m adaptable, can adjust to changes and step up to the adversity.”
The Chargers now enter the third day of the draft without having selected a defensive player, a bit of an anomaly considering general manager Tom Telesco said he felt there was more talent on that side of the ball.
“I can’t explain how we’ve ended up with three offensive players in a draft that a lot of people thought was defense-heavy, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Telesco said.
The Chargers have needs in the secondary at cornerback and safety and could use depth on the defensive line and at linebacker. The team also could consider adding a running back and planning for the future at quarterback.
Those options, Lynn said, could be on tap Saturday when the Chargers pick in rounds four through seven.
“At some point, I plan to get somebody on defense. My defensive coaches are about to jump off the building,” Lynn joked. “We’ve taken players that we feel like can help us win games. We were fortunate to get those last two guys that were high on our board and that they were there.”
In taking receiver Mike Williams in the first round and the guards in the second, the Chargers have given Rivers, their star, a weapon and needed protection.
It might not be “sexy,” as Lynn said, but there are more important things than that — like love.
And Friday, the Chargers loved Lamp — and Feeney.
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