Dan Feeney was a rookie success but struggled mightily in his sophomore season. Forrest Lamp has barely seen the field.
For Los Angeles Chargers fans, having a below-average offensive line has been the norm for many years. It’s been long since we had a line that was among the best in the league.
That was why, after the way the O-line was addressed in the 2017 draft, people were excited. Lamp, one of the top offensive linemen in the draft, was taken in the early second round. Feeney was also seen as one of the premier interior linemen of 2017’s draft, and the Chargers were able to snag him in the early third.
They say you need three years to be able to evaluate correctly a rookie class, and this is a prime example of why. After an excellent first season, in which he was named to the All-Rookie first team, Feeney’s future appeared very promising.
Lamp, meanwhile, tore his ACL before playing a single snap in true Chargers fashion. However, he was still considered a first-round talent and a bounce back was expected.
While their first season can be considered a success (at least in Feeney’s case), 2018 is most certainly a disappointment. Feeney regressed in a big way and while he started all 16 games, he was graded as one of the worst starters in the league. His deteriorated play, along with other factors, cost the Chargers some big games, including the divisional round loss against the New England Patriots.
There was some hype prior to the season for Lamp, and it was expected for him to come in and take his spot on the line after being activated from the PUP list. The end result was, again, disappointing. Even while fully healthy, Lamp was an afterthought, with players like Trent Scott and Scott Quessenberry being activated on game days in his stead.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
He was inactive all season long except for two games: Week 6 at Cleveland and Week 17 at Denver. During those two games, Lamp only saw the field on 17 snaps combined, according to Pro Football Reference.
After a full, healthy offseason, Lamp will have to work hard to earn a role for the 2019 season. We may still see a return on all the promise he showed during his college career.
Feeney will also have the offseason to watch tape, figure out what went wrong, and work on his mistakes to at least get back to his 2017 form.
Both are prime candidates for a bounce-back season, and if only one of them plays well in 2019, it can do wonders for a Super Bowl-caliber team whose biggest weakness is the offensive line. After 2019, three seasons will have passed. Time will tell if this pair of linemen will be viewed as a success or as a failure, and let’s hope it is the former.