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Singularly Focused Forrest Lamp Tuning Out the Noise

Once the final pick was announced, it was nearly impossible to read analysis of the NFL Draft without finding effusive praise over the Chargers' second round selection of Forrest Lamp.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. awarded the Bolts his highest draft grade, an A, noting the team stole his highest ranked guard and a sure-fire first round talent at pick number 38.

Fellow ESPN draft guru Todd McShay dubbed Lamp one of his favorite selections of any team, stating he was his top rated offensive lineman in the entire draft.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King called him his Offensive Pick of the Draft while NFL.com's Chad Reuter named him "an excellent value pick."

The praise went on and on, yet Lamp was dumbfounded to learn what NFL Draft experts had been saying.  It had been well over a month since the draft came and went, yet when told what was written, the Western Kentucky product just shrugged.

Simply put, Lamp's been too focused learning the playbook and acclimating to life with the Bolts to pay attention to any outside noise.

"I don't really care what anybody expects out of me other than the coaches," he said.  "It's exciting to hear that, and hopefully I do end up being a steal.  But I'm just (concentrating) on doing the best I can. One guy can't just come in here and fix a whole program.  I'm a rookie.  I don't know the ins and outs of everything just yet, but we have a good group of vets leading us.  Hopefully I can contribute along the way. Two or three years ago I never thought I would have been in this position, so I'm so happy to."

Luckily, in terms of skill, toughness and how to be a pro, there is no one better to learn from than Matt Slauson.

"Oh, he's definitely the man!  He's been doing it for nine years now.  He's a seasoned vet, so as a rookie, I'm trying to take in as much knowledge as I am.  Since I've gotten here, he's been awesome.  It's a whirlwind (jumping right in after the draft), and everything goes by quick.  But it's awesome to be a Charger.  There's no place else I'd rather be."

Still, it's been a big jump going from the Hilltoppers to the Bolts.

"The speed of the game, you hear how it picks up, but everything really is a lot faster here.  There's a lot more that goes into it than in college when it comes to the knowledge.  Pass protection is actually similar to how it was in college for me, but the running game has been an (adjustment).  There are just so many more calls.  There is a good bit we have to adjust to in the moment based on what you see, but the play call also is different.  There can be two or three plays called all at once, and you have to know all of them even though you'll only run one. So that's been different.  The playbook is the biggest thing I am trying to learn right now.  I played mostly left (guard) in college, but I've been doing right mostly here.  I've never played right before.   But I'm getting familiar with everything and excited to see how everything works out."

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