We already know that the Cowboys received a gift when wide receiver CeeDee Lamb fell all the way to #17 in the 2020 NFL draft. Very few people had him mocked to go that low, and the Cowboys organization said that in none of their pre-draft scenarios did they have Lamb fall to them. But it happened, and the NFL world has been very complimentary of the Cowboys drafting him even though wide receiver wasn’t a huge need, at least in the first round or two.
Lamb will join Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in the Cowboys starting lineup, since in today’s NFL slot receiver, or third receiver, should really be counted as a starter. Lamb could see time in the slot but he could also see time on the outside as the Cowboys now have a very versatile receiving trio.
So just how good of an acquisition was getting Lamb? Bleacher Report ranked the top 25 player acquisitions by draft, trade, or free agency during the 2020 offseason. They only counted players moving to a new team, so something like the Cowboys keeping Amari Cooper wouldn’t count on this list. In their rankings, the Lamb pick by the Cowboys ranked #19.
19 CeeDee Lamb
The Dallas Cowboys didn’t exactly need a first-round wide receiver with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already on the roster, but owner Jerry Jones decided he couldn’t pass on Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb when he became available with this year’s 17th overall pick.
“Lamb prevailed,” Jones said, per ESPN’s Todd Archer. “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.”
The Cowboys will have one of the league’s most feared wide receiver corps after Lamb’s addition.
Among this year’s class, Henry Ruggs III served as the speed merchant and Jerry Jeudy brought advanced route-running. Lamb had arguably the best all-around skill set, and he proved particularly deadly after the catch.
The consensus All-American led all receivers in the 2020 class with an average of 11 yards after catch per reception, per Pro Football Focus.
Rankings like these are always tough to do. It’s never an apples-to-apples comparison as age, contract, need and other factors come into play. Some moves are obviously going to be at the top of the list like Tom Brady to the Buccaneers and DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. There are others on the list that make sense like offensive tackles, one of the most important positions on the field.
A couple of moves ranked above Lamb do bring some scrutiny.
#13 Raiders sign Cory Littleton - There is no doubt that Littleton is a player and his coverage skills are ideal for a linebacker in today’s NFL. Still, there’s something about an off the ball linebacker’s position, and the contract signed (three years, $35.35 million), that make you wonder about it. Even so, you have to give credit to Littleton for his growth from a special teamer to a mainstay on defense.
#15 Browns sign Austin Hooper - Again, it’s not necessarily about the player but the position. And while Hooper has bee productive, over he past two years he’s averaged 73 catches, 723 yards and five touchdowns. Last year, as the number three in the Cowboys offense Randall Cobb caught 55 passes for 828 yards and three touchdowns.
Also of note, they list the Philadelphia Eagles acquisition of Darius Slay at #22. There is definitely a case to be made for that to be ranked higher. Washington's draft pick Chase Young ranked #14.
What’s your call BTB? Is it a fair ranking for CeeDee Lamb?