After making a splash with receiver Mike Williams in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Chargers further bolstered their offense by adding two talented offensive linemen to protect star quarterback Philip Rivers, as the team drafted guards Forrest Lamp from Western Kentucky in the second round (38th overall), and Dan Feeney from Indiana in the third round (71st overall).
Standing 6-4 and 300 pounds, Lamp was a third-team Associated Press All-America as a senior, as well as a two-time team captain and a two-time first-team All-Conference USA pick. He started 51 games for the Hilltoppers, including a stretch of 42 straight prior to missing two contests as a senior due to an ankle injury.
Lamp made 48 career starts at left tackle and three at right guard. Over his last two seasons at Western Kentucky, Lamp did not surrender a single sack. He left WKU having won three straight bowl games and back-to-back Conference USA titles. Lamp also earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors as a sophomore in 2014 and All-Sun Belt honors as a freshman in 2014.
Similar to Lamp, Feeney also was an All-America guard, twice being named first-team by the Associated Press. He also was a two-time team captain for the Hoosiers. The two players are almost identical in size as well as Feeney stands 6-4 and weighs 310 pounds.
Feeney played four seasons at Indiana, starting 46 games during his career, 41 at right guard and five at right tackle. He played 3,355 career snaps for the Hoosiers and he allowed just two sacks. In addition to his All-America accolades, Feeney was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and the Hoosiers’ team MVP as a senior. He garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition as a freshman in 2012 and a sophomore in 2014. Feeney redshirted in 2013 after suffering a preseason foot injury.
After focusing exclusively on offense for the first two days of the draft, the Chargers spent Day Three primarily adding depth to their defense, as the team selected three defensive players and an offensive tackle.
The draftees included safety Rayshawn Jenkins from the University of Miami in the fourth round (113th overall); defensive back Desmond King from Iowa in the fifth round (151st overall); tackle Sam Tevi from Utah in round six (190th overall); and defensive end Isaac Rochell from Notre Dame in the seventh round (225th overall).
A 6-2, 210-pound safety, Jenkins played four seasons at “The U” where he picked off nine passes and broke up 19 others while logging 201 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He played in 49 career games for the Canes and started 33. Jenkins played at Miami as a true freshman in 2012 and appeared in 23 games (14 starts) his freshman and sophomore seasons. He sat out 2014 as a medical redshirt, but returned to play in all 26 of the Canes’ games (19 starts) over the 2015-16 seasons.
The winner of the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, the 5-11, 203-pound King joins the Chargers after collecting 13 career interceptions, including three returned for touchdowns. He enjoyed his best season for the Hawkeyes in 2015 when he picked off eight passes to rank second in the nation.
In addition to the Thorpe Award, King received a host of awards at the end of the 2015 season, including being named a consensus first-team All-America and the Big Ten Conference’s Defensive Back of the Year. A two-time first-team All-Big Ten choice as well, King played four seasons (2013-16) at Iowa, recording 263 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 47 passes defensed to go along with his interception total. King also was the Hawkeyes’ primary return man his last two seasons, logging 56 kickoff returns for 1,458 yards (26.0 avg.) and 45 punt returns for 504 yards (11.2 avg.).
Tevi is a 6-6, 305-pound offensive tackle from Utah. A two-year starter for the Utes, Tevi started at left tackle as a junior in 2015 and at right tackle as a senior in 2016. A native of Euless, Texas, Tevi began his career at Utah as a defensive tackle. He began the transition to offensive line as a sophomore in 2014, seeing spot duty before taking over as a starter as a junior.
Rochell is a 6-4, 290-pound defensive end who started 37 games for the Irish over his final three seasons. A team captain as a senior, Rochell finished his Notre Dame career with 167 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services