At this time a year ago, the only thing on the minds of every single Dallas Cowboys fan was how great CeeDee Lamb was going to be in the team’s offense. It remains unbelievable that the Cowboys landed Lamb with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and a lot of the way that he played last season justifies that disbelief. Ultimately it feels like a matter of time before Lamb establishes himself as the alpha among the team’s receivers.
Looking back on Lamb’s rookie season requires some context. He has yet to play five full games with a top quarterback as Dak Prescott was lost for the season in Week 5, and trying to figure out life in the NFL with a revolving door of quarterbacks throwing to you certainly can’t be easy work.
In the five games that Lamb played with Dak Prescott he averaged 14.9 yards per reception. Considering games without Prescott as his quarterback, he only averaged 11.2 yards per reception. This isn’t an astronomical difference by any means, but it shows how much more potential Lamb seemingly has for the future.
Speaking of the future, PFF recently ranked the top 25 players under the age of 25. This is a common exercise this time of year and the Cowboys only had one representative. It was obviously CeeDee Lamb, who came in at number 13.
13. WR CEEDEE LAMB, DALLAS COWBOYS
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.
There is no question that Lamb is among the most-coveted players under the quarter-century mark of age, but just how high should he be?
Again, it is difficult to properly understand who Lamb is as an NFL player so some projecting is still necessary to see his whole picture. He showed flashes of brilliance in 2020 with all of the challenges in place, but he was the fourth-ranked receiver on this list. He was not even the highest-ranked receiver in his draft class.
- A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans (3)
- Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (8)
- D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (10)
These are all great wide receivers in their own right, but it does feel like Lamb is being slept on just a teeny bit. This season should offer more opportunities for him to shine and fully remind the world of the player that he was at Oklahoma and was starting to become before the Cowboys offense regressed.