20/20: CeeDee Lamb

Joseph Nammour

Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we profile 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2020 by giving you 20 facts you must know.

1.) Player Name – Cedarian “CeeDee” Lamb

2.) College – Oklahoma

3.) Height/Weight – 6’2″, 195 pounds

4.) Birthdate – 4/8/1999 (20 years old)

5.) Class – Junior

6.) Basic college stats – Lamb was productive immediately upon stepping on campus at Oklahoma. His marks of 807 yards and seven touchdowns (tie) in 2017 were both Oklahoma freshman receiving records. He then broke out in his sophomore campaign, cresting 60 receptions, 1,100 yards, and 10 touchdowns in both his second and third seasons as a Sooner. He finished his collegiate career with over 3,300 total yards and 33 touchdowns in 40 games across three seasons.

He was also heavily involved as a punt returner all three years at Oklahoma, which I love.

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Courtesy of sports-reference.com.

7.) NFL Draft round projection – Round one. Based on early, pre-Combine mock drafts, Lamb is inside the top-20 players in the NFL Draft, with a handful of writers slotting him inside the top ten. A fit that makes sense is the Arizona Cardinals, as he was collegiate teammates with quarterback Kyler Murray, and Arizona should be searching for an alpha receiver that isn’t primarily a slot receiver. Unless he tests extremely poorly, Lamb is close to a lock for first round draft capital, and is a locked in first round dynasty rookie pick as a result.

8.) Current NFL comparison – DeAndre Hopkins.

I’ve seen numerous comparisons to both Hopkins and Davante Adams, but Hopkins is the closer comparison to me. Nuk is known for his insane body control and his vice grip-like hands, and Lamb is built in a similar mold. His ball skills are ridiculous and he contorts his body to make spectacular catches. Once the ball is in his hands, he has an uncanny ability to elude defenders and eat up yards after the catch despite a lack of true long speed.

9.) Best possible destination – Lamb would fit in well with pretty much any team, but reuniting him with one of his college quarterbacks on one of the most up-tempo offenses in the league that also happens to have an offensive-minded head coach and an ascending team is a fit that excites me.

The Cardinals have Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald playing mostly in the slot, so Lamb would fit in at X or Z receiver nicely, and he’s versatile enough to shift inside if needed as well.

A lot of other teams make sense as well, but the Las Vegas Raiders are another nice fit. The Raiders are sorely lacking an alpha target, and Lamb would complement Darren Waller, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Renfrow nicely. The Colts are intriguing as well, and while I don’t expect him to make it to Philadelphia’s draft slot, that would be an awesome landing spot for him.

10.) Worst possible destination – The Jets have the 11th selection in the draft and Adam Gase has been proven to continuously squander good talent around him. And although quarterback Sam Darnold has shown his upside at times, he’s been incredibly inconsistent across his first two seasons.

There really aren’t any horrible landing spots among the teams that would realistically draft him inside the top half of the first round. Nonetheless, with his elite upside, landing on a team with an established young alpha receiver would be a disappointment.

11.) Best current skill – Body control/ball skills. There is so much to like about Lamb’s game. He’s incredibly refined across the board. The most impressive part of his game, though, is his body control.

As mentioned above while comparing him to Hopkins, Lamb has the innate ability to contort his body and latch onto the ball if it’s even remotely near his vicinity. He is one of the best receivers I’ve seen coming out of college at winning at the catch point. He is dominant in contested catch situations and is a tremendous ball tracker downfield.

I won’t spend too much time here on his run-after-catch (RAC) ability – but that is special as well. He runs angry and consistently finds ways to maximize his yardage when the ball is in his hands.

12.) Skill that needs to be improved – Long speed/route running consistency.

Long speed isn’t really something that can be improved upon too much, but that’s one of the only true areas that he isn’t above average. He’s not slow by any means – I expect him to run in the mid 4.5s – but he’s far from a burner.

His route running is certainly good, and his flashes are actually tremendous – he’s just not that consistent from rep-to-rep yet. His junior season saw him take huge strides forward in this area, and he’s started to develop his release packages against press. There are some instances where he doesn’t play with the same ferocity against off-man or zone coverage as he does when he’s being pressed, but I’m really just nitpicking at this point.

13.) Past/current rookie ADP – In February’s 1QB dynasty rookie drafts, he is going off the board as the fourth rookie on average. He was drafted as high as second in two mock drafts and as low as fifth in two others, and is the first wide receiver off the board.

In superflex rookie mocks, he is the seventh rookie off the board. He was drafted no earlier than fourth and no later than ninth, and fell to the second receiver spot behind Jerry Jeudy.

14.) Projected dynasty value – As usual, a rookie’s dynasty value will somewhat hinge on the draft capital spent on him in the real NFL Draft. Lamb is the WR21 in February’s dynasty startup ADP, and he’s being valued between Jeudy and Deebo Samuel at the position. Some other players in his range of 42nd overall in startup drafts are Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and Austin Ekeler, and I’d rather have Lamb over them quite comfortably. He’s also close to DK Metcalf and Allen Robinson, and that conversation is much closer than the one with the running backs.

Once we see him drafted in the early to middle first round of the NFL Draft, I would expect his price to rise a bit more. Like Hopkins, Lamb has top five upside at the position as one of the youngest players in this draft. His dynasty value will be reinforced with strong draft capital.

15.) Metrics – He had the privilege of playing with two consecutive Heisman winners before teaming up with Jalen Hurts this season, but his production profile is impressive regardless of the circumstances.

He broke out in his sophomore season at the age of 19 (19.4), which is in the 81st percentile among receivers. Per DLF’s new College Market Share App, he’s been above the baseline regression target mark in market share metrics (receptions, yards, and touchdowns) for the last two seasons of his collegiate career.

I’ve plotted him against his former teammate Marquise Brown below. Lamb produced more impressive numbers at a younger age for two seasons in a row, indicating the caliber of prospect he is.

Also, Lamb surpassed a 20% dominator rating threshold over his collegiate career, including a 38.1% dominator rating his final season.

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16.) Red River rocketship – Lamb is at his best in the biggest moments. He routinely dismantled Texas in the Red River Rivalry each season, amassing a total of 25 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns in just four games.

  • As a freshman: 3-74-0
  • As a sophomore: 6-75-1, 6-167-1 (Big 12 Championship)
  • As a junior: 10-171-3

Speaking of the biggest moments, he also went for 8-109-1 in the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) against Alabama and 4-119-0 against LSU in the 2019 CFP.

17.) Slow start – Per Jordan Reid of The Draft Network, Lamb’s high school career almost never got off the ground. He played on the junior varsity team his freshman season, and although he made varsity as a sophomore he played so poorly he was demoted.

According to Reid:

The eighth game of the season was a career and life changing moment for Lamb. Having not recorded more than two receptions prior to the game against Calhoun High School, he was on the receiving end of two game clinching moments. Down 22-21 with three seconds remaining, Lamb caught a reverse pass for what was believed to be the game winner, but a penalty negated it . . . [and] games can’t end on an offensive penalty. On the final play of the game with zero time remaining, he caught a last ditch hail mary to send his team to . . . victory.

Lamb’s notoriety and recruitment surged after that point. He went on to amass 57 catches for 1,082 yards, and 11 touchdowns as a junior. [He exploded] during his final year – recording 98 receptions for 2,032 yards and 33 touchdowns. His yardage total as a senior was the fourth-most in state history and his receiving touchdown mark was the second-most ever.

18.) Recruiting profile – Lamb was a top-150 recruit coming out of Foster High School in Richmond, Texas. Per 247Sports’s composite rank, he was the 24th best wide receiver in the country, the 148th overall player in his class, and the 22nd best in the state of Texas. Lamb received 20 offers; many from top programs in the nation – including Alabama and Texas.

Lamb decommitted from Oklahoma in April of 2016 before recommitting in July of the same year. He never committed to another school in the meantime, although he also visited Texas A&M.

19.) CeeDee’s nickname – His nickname came from the coach of his fourth grade football team. In just the first practice, his coach could tell that Lamb was a special talent, but he didn’t have an easy time saying his name quickly when he wanted to call a play to get the ball to the star.

“It was the first day of practice and Lamb, who went by his birth name ‘Cedarian,’ was showing his speed and natural athletic ability. At first, Reed called him ‘DVD’ due to the highlight plays he was making and the popularity of DVDs at the time. By the end of practice ‘DVD’ had turned into ‘CD,’ which like his long, lanky frame, stretched over time to CeeDee.”

20.) Room to grow – Lamb entered college at just 173 pounds, but he bulked up 20 pounds in just three years. It will be interesting to see where he weighs in at the Combine this week. He looks and plays bigger than his size, but his frame suggests he could land around 200-210 pounds instead of the currently listed 190-195. In fact, he actually weighed 203 pounds in March of 2018 as he worked to rehabilitate an injured shoulder, so he is certainly capable of putting on more size.