Philadelphia Eagles: Shane Steichen should place a call to Forrest Lamp

(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Through the first three games of the 2021 NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost both of their starting guards.

That stinks.

While the Eagles are better positioned than most to weather this burden, as they drafted a premium guard in the second round and Nate Herbig played a ton of snaps in 2020, their depth had been all but depleted by sending Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks to IR, with only Jack Anderson on the active roster and Kayode Awosika/Sua Opeta on the practice squad.

So naturally, with a need to add someone to their active roster to take Seumalo’s spot, the Eagles should scour the league and find the best possible option to fill out their depth chart moving forward, be that player on the team’s roster or an external option.

Fortunately, there is a guard still available on the open market who started 16 games for the current Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen‘s Los Angeles Chargers last season by the name of Forrest Lamp. The bad news? His 2020 season wasn’t one to write home about.

Forrest Lamp is certainly an option to fill out the Philadelphia Eagles depth chart.

Coming out of Western Kentucky, there was a lot to like about Forrest Lamp.

He spent four years as the Hilltoppers’ left tackle, only gave up three sacks over his final three seasons at Western Kentucky, and even scored a rushing touchdown in the final game of his college career.

And at the 2017 NFL combine? Well, Lamp showed the heck out there too.

He finished out the testing period in the 90th percentile in the 40-yard dash, bench press, hand size, and broad jump, while also landing in at least the 75th percentile in both 20-yard shuffle and 3 cone drill.

Really, the only areas that Lamp didn’t physically excel at were height, weight, arm length, and vertical jump, which is a big reason why it was universally expected that he’d kick it inside to guard at the game’s highest level.

After hearing his name called 38th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, that is exactly what the Los Angeles Chargers planned to do… at least until he tore his ACL during camp.

Fast forward to 2019, and Lamp finally became a steady contributor for the Chargers, starting two games versus seven appearances. Though he allowed a single holding penalty on 157 offensive snaps, he finished out the season without a sack and inspired enough confidence in LA’s brass to allow right guard Michael Schofield to walk in free agency to the Denver Broncos.

The results? Mixed.

While Pro-Football-Reference gave Lamp an average value grade of eight, which is higher than Issac Seumalo earned for the Philadelphia Eagles last season, PFF was far less kind, giving the Chargers guard a 49.4 overall grade due to his two sacks allowed and his single false start penalty.

An ideal performance in a contract year? Hardly, but it still generated enough of a market for Lamp to land in Buffalo on a one-year deal worth $1.05 million.

The Bills are an elite team with one really good guard and one alright guard, so clearly, Lamp didn’t expect to start right out of the gate, but with a strong summer, maybe he’d have done enough to beat out Jon Feliciano for a spot at guard opposite former second-round pick Cody Ford… until he got injured, again, for the third time since 2017.

While the Bills initially waived Lamp with an injury distinction that would have landed him on season-ending IR once he passed through waivers, he was released shortly thereafter and allowed to test the open market for an opportunity to play once more.

Could that opportunity happen in South Philly?

Well, let’s put it this way; they shouldn’t not consider him, that’s for sure.

Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles signed ex-seventh round pick Jack Anderson off of the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad to help ease the loss of Brandon Brooks. Tell me, which player would you rather see inserted into an Eagles game if either Nate Herbig or Landon Dickerson gets injured? A player with no experience in the NFL whatsoever, or a former second-round pick dubbed the next Zach Martin, with 1,349 NFL snaps to his credit?

Granted, neither option is fantastic, but that experience could be incredibly valuable for a backup combo guard, especially if Brooks returns by this time next month.

Next. A Lisfranc break dashes Isaac Seumalo’s strong start. dark

There’s an old saying that goes a little something like, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” In a perfect world, the Philadelphia Eagles wouldn’t need Forrest Lamp or even consider signing a guard with one of the worst PFF ratings in the entire NFL last season. But here, in the real world, 2021, the Eagles kinda sorta need Forrest Lamp even if they’d hope like heck he doesn’t ultimately see the field, as that would signify let another injury at a position with depleted depth.