Lamp, Taylor impress at Reese’s Senior Bowl

WKU wide receiver Taywan Taylor (2) tries escape a tackle by Marshall University safety Kendall Gant (14) during the Hilltoppers’ 60-6 win over Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 26th, 2016 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, WV. Evan Boggs / HERALD

John Reecer

Former WKU football greats Forrest Lamp and Taywan Taylor took part in the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

The all-star game is an exhibition which showcases the top NFL Draft prospects from a pool of standout collegiate players whose eligibility has already expired.

Lamp and Taylor used this opportunity to impress a number of NFL scouts who were in attendance – and they made the most of their chance.

Going into the week of practices leading to the game, the former WKU offensive tackle Lamp was considered one of the top overall prospects in the entire event.

“This Hilltopper has won scouts over with his strength and mobility,” draft analyst Chad Reuter said of Lamp before the game. “Don’t be surprised if he excels when kicked inside to guard as well as when he’s lined up at his usual left tackle spot in Mobile. Several teams in the back half of the first round will covet his abilities.”

Reuter had Lamp ranked as the second overall prospect in the entire event with only tight end O.J. Howard from the University of Alabama graded above him.

Despite not being able to play in the exhibition due to a high ankle sprain Lamp suffered earlier in the week, the Venice, Florida, native still managed to get some valuable practice time against some of the best prospects in the nation.

Taylor on the other hand managed to participate in the game and record one reception for 14 yards. He helped the South to a 16-15 victory.

Like Lamp, Taylor is considered a valuable commodity by several NFL scouts.

According to Turron Davenport of USA Today, Taylor was whisked away by officials from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders for meeting time during the week leading up to the bowl game.

“Taylor may be flying under the radar for some due to coming from a smaller program, but there’s nothing little about his frame, skill set or production,” Luke Easterling of USA Today said. “His performance against Alabama should put to rest any questions about his ability to hang with top competition.”

Lamp is also reaping the benefits from WKU’s matchup with the Crimson Tide on Sept. 10, 2016. His performance against one of the best defenses in all of college football helped his name move into the first round of several mock drafts.

“NFL scouts received a glimpse of Lamp against elite competition when Western Kentucky faced non-conference opponents LSU [2015] and Alabama [2016],” Dane Brugler of said. “And Lamp passed with flying colors, more than holding his own against future high draft picks like Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams of the Crimson Tide.”

Despite neither athlete making a huge impact in Saturday’s event, both took advantage of the opportunity and managed to show scouts their skills and mental makeup throughout the week. Their efforts did not go unnoticed. 

Reporter John Reecer can be reached at 270-427-8230 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @Reece_12_Falcon