This Dallas Cowboys came into the 2020 NFL Draft looking to improve mostly on the defensive side of the ball. CJ Henderson and K’Lavon Chaisson were the leading candidates as possible first-round selections, but by the time the Las Vegas Raiders were set to make their selection, the top three receivers in this year’s class were still on the board.
Henry Ruggs out of Alabama, much to everyone’s surprise, was the first receiver taken by the Raiders at pick 12. Three picks later, his college teammate Jerry Jeudy was selected by the Denver Broncos. Now, the Cowboys would have a bit of a dilemma at 17. Not only was edge rusher Chaisson there, but wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, regarded as one of the top-two receivers in college football. The Cowboys would choose offense and select Lamb to give their offense another explosive weapon.
CeeDee Lamb on targets 20+ yards downfield at Oklahoma
0 drops pic.twitter.com/cxF0BslPNv
— PFF (@PFF) April 23, 2020
Lamb was productive from the time he stepped foot in Norman, Oklahoma. As a freshman, he compiled 46 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. As a sophomore, he elevated his game to 65 receptions for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns while receiving second-team All-Big Ten honors. His junior year would be his best as he totaled 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. Lamb would be named first-team All-Big Ten and a Consensus All-American.
The addition of Lamb gives the Cowboys another receiver along with Cooper who can play both on the outside as well as the slot. If he’s attacking down the seams and the middle of the field from the slot it will force teams to roll coverage to him, thus allowing more one-on-one opportunities for Cooper and Gallup. A tremendous leaping ability makes him a prime candidate to be the team’s red-zone threat. He’s extremely explosive in the open field and also adds instant value as a kick returner.
Michael Irvin said CeeDee Lamb was the top WR on the Cowboys’ draft board. He now pairs with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. A lot of weapons on that Dallas offense pic.twitter.com/QOCgdxhwOf
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 24, 2020
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Lamb was the sixth-ranked player on their board. Also, the organization turned down three possible trade scenarios that involved Lamb.
Lamb prevailed,” Jones said. “We just didn’t want to miss him. Those trades ultimately are supposed to add another player to be valuable, but we couldn’t trump him. He was just there. He’s a football player. He’s a playmaker. He just earned it.”
Most receiving TDs since 2017
1. James Proche – 33
2. CeeDee Lamb – 32
2. Tyler Johnson – 32
4. Denzel Mims – 28 pic.twitter.com/qVvTJ1NPn8
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 23, 2020
His new coach Mike McCarthy talked about how unique Lamb’s skill set is and what he can bring to the table for the Cowboys offense in 2020.
“He’s a dynamic football player,” McCarthy said. “He carries that alpha status. The ability to play what I refer to as all four positions, inside, outside, move around, create favorable matches as we move into the upcoming season. We want to have the flexibility to move all our perimeter players around. By far felt he was a dynamic player with the ball in his hands.”
The Cowboys came into round one of the draft thinking defense. Instead, a gift from above happened and they got one of the best offensive weapons entering the league. Will day two of the draft see the Cowboys go heavy on defense? We’ll be tuned in.
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