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Hilltopper Forrest Lamp set to be program’s first-ever first round pick

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As Hilltopper fans anxiously await the start of the 2017 NFL
Draft, set to begin at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday from Philadelphia, many of the nation’s
draft experts have included former WKU All-American Forrest Lamp in their
predictions on the first round.

WKUSports.com has collected 15 of the top mock drafts prior to Thursday’s first
round, and the Venice, Fla., product has been projected anywhere from No. 9
(Cincinnati) to No. 31 (Atlanta). Of the 15 mocks collected, five have Lamp headed
to Miami where he would reunite with former All-American quarterback Brandon
Doughty, a seventh round selection of the team last season.

To date, WKU’s highest draft selection is Joseph Jefferson, selected in the third
round, No. 74 overall, by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2002 draft. WKUSports.com
will have a complete preview of the draft on Wednesday as well as coverage from
Lamp’s draft party near his hometown on Thursday night.

Here’s a look at where Lamp stands in each mock draft:

Danny Kelly (The Ringer)
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals, #9
Analysis:
Cincinnati finished tied for 25th in the NFL with 41 sacks surrendered last year and
then lost its two best offensive linemen when LT Andrew Whitworth (Rams) and RG
Kevin Zeitler (Browns) left in free agency. The Bengals need help on the offensive
line, and Lamp is an athletic and versatile prospect with the potential to start
from Day 1 at left guard or either tackle spot.

Todd McShay (ESPN)
Pick: Indianapolis Colts, #15
Analysis:
Nearly 80 percent on the Colts’ designed runs last year were inside or outside zone,
and Lamp is a highly athletic O-lineman who would thrive in such a scheme.

Josh Norris (Rotoworld)
Pick: Tennessee Titans, #18
Analysis:
Again, I think the Titans trade out. Look for Chidobe Awuzie to be the target. But Lamp is
another talent too good to pass up, especially after letting Chance Warmack walk.
The offense is built on the running game and protecting Mariota.

Will Brinson (CBS Sports)
Pick: Denver Broncos, #20
Analysis:
Pretty good value here, and the Broncos clearly need to get better on the offensive line,
the one big problem for John Elway during his tenure as general manager in Denver.
Lamp would give them a lot of depth and versatility on the line.

Chris Burke (Sports Illustrated)
Pick: Denver Broncos, #20
Analysis:
The consensus has been to push Lamp inside to guard, but he deserves a shot to show
what he can do at tackle. He could fill a role at either spot for the Broncos, who
could lean on his athletic run blocking.

Dane Brugler (NFLDraftScout.com)
Pick: Miami Dolphins, #22
Analysis:
Laremy Tunsil kicks out to left tackle this season, which creates an opening at guard.

Steve Palazzolo (Pro Football Focus)
Pick: Miami Dolphins, #22
Analysis:
Lamp has graded as a top-five offensive tackle in each of the last three years at
Western Kentucky as he’s shown athleticism and power in the run game while allowing
only 31 pressures on 1,621 attempts in pass protection. His mini arms will likely
have the NFL kicking him inside to guard – though giving him a shot at offensive
tackle seems like a low-risk proposition – and he can immediately upgrade the
interior of the Dolphins’ offensive line that has had issues in recent years.

Rob Rang (CBS Sports)
Pick: Miami Dolphins, #22
Analysis:
Trading away starting left tackle Branden Albert (to Jacksonville) says a lot about the
Dolphins’ confidence in last year’s first round pick Laremy Tunsil. While Tunsil
should have no problem re-acclimating to tackle after starring at left guard last
season, his absence inside could be an issue. Lamp looks like a plug and play
solution after a seamless transition inside to guard at the Senior Bowl.

Chad Reuter (NFL.com)
Pick: Miami Dolphins, #22
Analysis:
The Dolphins are moving last year’s first-rounder, Laremy Tunsil, to left tackle, making room for the Western Kentucky swing-man at guard.

Charley Casserly (NFL.com)
Pick: Houston Texans, #25
Analysis:
Will the Texans trade up to get an OT or stay here?

Ryan Wilson (CBS Sports)
Pick: Houston Texans, #25
Analysis:
Quarterback makes sense here, but the Texans could also stand to improve an
offensive line that was mediocre in the running and passing game a year ago. Lamp,
who didn’t allow a sack last season, can play guard or tackle.

Peter King (Monday Morning Quarterback)
Pick: Seattle Seahawks, #26
Analysis:
GM John Schneider overlooks Lamp’s short arms because he thinks he can start day
one.

Peter Schrager (Fox Sports)
Pick: Atlanta Falcons, #31
Analysis:
Chris Chester retired right after the first wave of free agency, and there could be
a hole at guard for the Falcons this season. Lamp was a star at tackle in college
but will play guard in the pros. He’s got a whole lot of nasty in him.

Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Pick: Atlanta Falcons, #31
Analysis:
One of the safest draft picks in the first round, Lamp would fill a need and could step in
immediately.

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