The curious case of Forrest Lamp

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Russell Okung
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Russell Okung /

The Los Angeles Chargers have yet to get anything out of 2017 second-round pick Forrest Lamp.

Remember being really excited when the Chargers chose Lamp? They had just gotten a major steal, or so it seemed.

Lamp was a highly-touted offensive lineman coming into the NFL after starting 51 games at left tackle for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Some draft analysts had him as a first-round pick and it seemed likely he would be taken there.

That’s why the Chargers jumped on him when he was still on the board at the No. 38 overall pick. It didn’t just seem like Lamp was a good pick, but most felt like the Chargers got tremendous value when they chose him.

But that’s about as far as his hype train went.

Lamp spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve, but no matter, he was going to kill it in year two, right? Wrong. Instead, he hardly ever saw the field, for reasons only the organization knows.

Lamp was inactive for all but two games this past season and was left off the gameday roster in favor of guys like Sam Tevi and Trenton Scott. Even rookie Scott Quessenberry saw more action than he did.

According to Pro Football Reference, these were the snap counts per Chargers offensive linemen in 2018:

Dan Feeney- 100.0 percent

Michael Schofield- 98.29 percent

Mike Pouncey- 95.88 percent

Sam Tevi- 87.54 percent

Russell Okung- 87.04 percent

Joe Barksdale- 14.47 percent

Trenton Scott- 12.56 percent

Scott Quessenberry- 4.12 percent

Forrest Lamp- 1.71 percent

Cole Toner- 0.0 percent

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The only lineman on the 53-man roster this year with less offensive snaps than Lamp was Cole Toner, who never saw the field. Lamp was inserted on a whopping 17 plays. That doesn’t cut it for a former second-round pick in his second season, so what is the deal?

Is Lamp just not good enough? Has the coaching staff not seen enough progression? Has he been dealing with nagging injuries? It could be a combination of more than one thing.

He’ll be one of the key players to keep an eye on this offseason because if he can’t take the field again this year and is playing behind seventh-round draft picks and undrafted free agents, it could be that he might not ever catch on in the NFL.

Or at the very least, not with the Chargers.