CeeDee Lamb Has Phenomenal Hands (2020 NFL Draft)
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Weight: 198 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 124.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: N/A
Lamb has become one of the favorites in the draft community after dominating the competition while at Oklahoma the last three years. The biggest concern with him has to do with projecting how he’ll do against better competition, as the Big 12 was about as easy as it gets.
Credit to Lamb, though, he took care of business on the field. He continually got better as the years went on, peaking in 2019 where he tallied 119-plus yards in 7-of-13 games, including three games with multiple touchdowns. All he can do is dominate the competition that’s put in front of him. Do his skills translate to the next level, or will the jump be more than most realize?
Here’s my detailed scouting report on CeeDee Lamb (ratings out of five stars):
I don’t think he’s built to be an alpha wide receiver right now like most do but should be a solid No. 2 who’s a swiss army knife right out of the gate. Was used all over the field, including on sweeps out of the backfield. If a team needs him to be a jack of all trades, he can do that. Frame is a bit narrow that has you concerned about big hits and durability. It’s possible that he’s still growing into his body at just 20 years old, so we can’t write off the possibilities. He did weigh in at 198 pounds at the NFL Combine, which was nine pounds over his listed weight, and it didn’t affect his 40 time at all. If he’s able to get up into the 210-215 range, he’s going to cause real issues for defenders.
RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
Route Running/Ability to Separate
He has wiggle to his routes, and you can tell he can juke defenders, though it can sometimes take too long to develop with over-the-top studder steps and hand movements. He doesn’t have the hard-stop that someone like Jerry Jeudy has to his game and relies more on winning at the point of catch than creating massive separation. Playing against lesser competition in the Big-12 should have had him gaining separation rather easily, but this is an area of his game that needs to continue growing.
He doesn’t have elite speed, though he’s not slow, either. He has better short area burst than he does long speed, as he won’t be confused for John Ross any time soon. Knowing his height and weight, he’s about as fast as you’d expect someone his size, but a smidge quicker in short spaces.
RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
He’s a natural hands-catcher that doesn’t let the ball come in too much like some of the other prospects in this class. It allows him to make some ridiculous grabs that were highlight-reel plays. Doesn’t have to concentrate very much to bring the ball in, as it comes naturally. Makes it look easy. He also consistently comes down with contested catches, highlighting his concentration when things are most hectic. His hands are easily the most impressive part of his game and something his future quarterback will love when they’re under duress. He’s the poster child in this draft for best hands.
Should worry about his route rather than looking at the quarterback most of the time, though it didn’t help that Jalen Hurts routinely scrambled out of the pocket. Lamb has excellent contact body control and is fully aware of where he’s at on the field, which helped him score a few more touchdowns than the average receiver would’ve. Something he could improve on in this area is coming back to the ball a bit more in order to help out his quarterback, as he’ll keep rounding his route up the field even with a defender in close proximity.
After the Catch
He’s very elusive with some space around him and has the ability to make people miss in the open field but isn’t going to break very many tackles with his lack of thickness, though it’s not due to a lack of trying. When determining how a player is after the catch, you have to factor in the type of player they’re perceived to be. If rating him as a No. 1 possession-style receiver, I’d say he’s simply average, as he’s not going to be breaking tackles with a guy draped on his back. If rating him as a guy who will be asked to do work in open space, he’d be above average.
Projected Draft Spot
Some will surely critique me for suggesting Lamb should start out as a No. 2 in an offense, but it’s also why you should watch for a team like the Broncos to select him in the first round, though he may not last that long after a solid Combine. Playing opposite Courtland Sutton would present one of the better 1-2 duos in football and make life easier on Drew Lock. Other teams who need a receiver and are selecting in the range he should go are the Cardinals, Jets, and Raiders. He’s going to be starting day one.
There are some lofty comparisons out there for Lamb, including Deandre Hopkins. The part that makes sense about him is that he’s a thin-framed WR1 who doesn’t have elite separation skills but excels in contested catch situations, but you also can’t ignore that Lamb is about 15-20 pounds lighter than Hopkins, which would impact his ability to leverage his body in those contested catch situations. Hopkins is certainly the type of player Lamb is, though he’s got some growing to do in order to get to that level. If you recall, Hopkins started out alongside Andre Johnson.
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