REECER’S PIECE: NFL should be calling for the Hilltoppers

John Reecer is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald during the spring 2016 semester.

John Reecer

With just two games left for the Hilltoppers in the 2016 season, I want to take some focus off of WKU’s drive for a Conference USA championship.

Instead, I want to focus on the potential pro careers of two of the leaders for the Hilltoppers this season: redshirt senior offensive tackle Forrest Lamp and senior wide receiver Taywan Taylor.

Those two players are two of the most important pieces in WKU’s high-scoring offense, and they also happen to be the two best pro prospects on the team. currently has Taylor ranked as the 22nd best wide receiver in the nation along with a fifth round grade. The website also has Lamp ranked as the 19th ranked offensive guard with a seventh round grade.

At this point in the process, these are actually pretty positive grades for both prospects. Making it into the league through a school outside of the power-five conferences is never an easy thing to do.

However, the talent of these two athletes is already catching the eye of NFL scouts. Pro Football Focus has Lamp ranked as the highest rated offensive tackle in the nation and one of the 10 best lineman in the nation as well.

While it is obvious to both scouts and myself that Lamp and Taylor possess NFL talent, I think both players should be drafted higher in next year’s draft than their current projections suggest.

First off, I will begin with Lamp who I think is incredibly underrated. The main problem scouts seems to have with is with his height.

Most left tackles in the NFL usually measure around 6’5 or 6’6 and Lamp is listed on WKU’s roster as 6’6. This will most likely cause Lamp to go through a position change from tackle to guard.

Position changes can be tough, especially at the highest level of the sport, but Lamp’s dominance through this season has been impressive.

Just look at his performance against the Crimson Tide back in September. Against the most impressive defense in the nation Lamp regularly shut down oncoming pass rushers and opened up passing lanes.

Of course Lamp has completely obliterated C-USA defenses, but it’s that performance against the University of Alabama which scouts will be looking at from now until draft time.

Things are looking a bit better for Taylor. Wide receiver is a position that most NFL teams feast on in the draft. That’s why he is projected to go in the fifth round while being the 22nd ranked receiver.

Taylor is also doing very well statistically as he is third in the nation in receiving yards and seventh in the nation in receiving touchdowns.

The Toppers will most likely have four more games left to play in the season so Taylor’s numbers are going to be very desirable by scouts.

His numbers, however, are not what makes him the best NFL prospect on this team. Taylor’s wide receiving skill set is world-class with his play-making ability, athleticism and dependable hands.

I think Taylor has third-round talent, but time will only tell for him and Lamp as major scouting events like the Senior Bowl and the Scouting Combine are still on the horizon.

While there are other Toppers on the team who are also being looked at by NFL scouts, it’s obvious to me that Lamp and Taylor are the ones with the most pro talent.

They deserve to be rated higher, but the good news is there is still plenty of time for these talented athletes to prove their worth.