CeeDee Lamb was the crown jewel of the 2020 NFL Draft for the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, Lamb didn’t get a chance to have a full season with Dak Prescott due to a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle in Week 5.
Nonetheless, the former Oklahoma Sooner took the league by storm and was one of the only bright spots for the Cowboys during their miserable 6-10 last season. So much so, that Pro Football Focus ranked the top 25 players under 25 in the NFL and Lamb came in at 13.
Sam Monson on what went into Lamb’s ranking.
“The Dallas offense is so stacked that Lamb spent most of his rookie year (93.2%) in the slot while Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup manned the outside spots. Despite that and a passing game that fell away after Dak Prescott went down injured, Lamb still generated a passer rating of 102.0 when targeted, making several spectacular plays in the process.”
Speaking of playing in the slot, Lamb took full advantage of his snaps there. He led all receivers in 20+ yard receptions from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus. It didn’t stop there, though, as his 69 receptions and 877 yards from the slot were the most by a rookie receiver since 2006.
His sensational first year in the NFL had several other highlights as well. He set a new record for receptions by a Cowboys rookie receiver with 74. Lamb became the first receiver in NFL history to record at least five receptions in his first six career games. Also, he’s the first player in Cowboys history with two 100-yard performances in his first five games.
Lamb would finish with 935 yards and five touchdowns. In the four full games he played with Prescott, Lamb was on pace for 84 receptions for over 1,200 yards. Not only is it impressive what he was able to accomplish being without Prescott for so much of the 2020 season, but he also did so with Cooper and Gallup combining for nearly 2,000 yards as well.
Now that the world has seen the potential that Lamb has the expectations for him have gone up, and he’s focused on taking his game to another level.
“I want to focus on me being better for the team and definitely want to be as impactful on the team as I possibly can,” Lamb said back in April, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “Naturally, the team will get better. We started a whole new system if you will. We got a new defensive coordinator [Dan Quinn]. Offensively, we got everybody back. It’s a whole new role. I’m looking to be a better version of myself. To be better than last year and if everyone has that mindset as a collective group we’ll be better.”
Prescott is back healthy and so is the Cowboy’s offensive line (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins missed 36 games combined). With the requisite pieces around him staying on the field in 2021, Lamb will solidify his spot as one of the best young receivers in the NFL.