Friday, January 22, 2021

Cowboys take CeeDee Lamb at 17

With the seventeenth pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver out of Oklahoma. Rated on many pundits boards as the number one receiver, Lamb is a huge win for the Boys on the draft’s opening night.

Wideout may not have been top of many people’s needs in this draft after the high profile departures of Byron Jones and Robert Quinn. But CeeDee Lamb was by far the best player on the board at that spot, and with the Cowboys having been patient and not made any crazy trade-ups this is a pick that will resonate well with fans.

Checking in at 6’2″ and 198 lbs, Lamb ran a 4.5-second forty, and posted a 34.5″ vertical and 124″ broad jump.

CeeDee Lamb is NFL ready

Arguably the most NFL ready receiver in the class, CeeDee Lamb has strong hands, and whether open or contested his consistent ability to make successful catches will be huge at the next level. He loves the competitiveness of press coverage and thrives in red-zone situations.

He’s also a factor in the run game where he’s a physical blocker and applies maximum effort. When running with the ball he runs angry, makes explosive cuts, and will expose weak tackling. He averaged 21.4 yards per reception in 2019, of which 11.2 came after the catch.

He does lack some top-end speed, but his work on the perimeter, and ability to make contested catches will make him a valuable target from day one. CeeDee Lamb doesn’t have a tonne of film on the underneath routes and lacks some bulk to his frame, but these are areas of his game that we can see developing well over the coming years.

CeeDee Lamb may lack burner speed but he's a physical competitor © Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
CeeDee Lamb may lack burner speed but he’s a physical competitor © Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Adding him to a receiving corps that already features Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup will allow Lamb time to develop and also give the Cowboys arguably the best young 1-2-3 corps in the league. When you also consider the line, Zeke Elliott running the rock, and (surely) Dak Prescott dropping back, this should be a highly potent offense in 2020 and going forward.

Some draft pundits have talked down CeeDee Lamb because of his lack of size, and his lack of top-end speed, but his competitiveness, great hands, change of direction, and ability to play angry make him an outstanding first-round pick.

He’s been regularly compared to Odell Beckham Jr and DeAndre Hopkins on the top side of his game for his physicality. He has all the skills to be a high-end NFL player, and while he has work to do this is a pick that we will look back on and wonder how he was the third receiver taken.

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