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Draft Central | 2020

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Eatman: CeeDee Lamb is True Definition of 'BPA'


You've got to give the Cowboys credit on this one.

I'll be honest, I've never truly thought teams actually lived by their "Best Player Available" stance. We hear it all the time, but to me, it's never truly accurate.

Yes, teams will stick to their board at times, especially later in the draft when you just want to stockpile good players. But in the first round, with the 17th pick, and knowing there are some major holes on defense, the Cowboys truly went with the best player on their board and snagged CeeDee Lamb, a dynamic receiver out of Oklahoma.

Were their better needs on the board? Yes.

Were their better players? Nope.

And that's why I give the Cowboys a lot of credit in taking Lamb, whom Jerry Jones said was the No. 6 overall player on their draft board heading into Thursday night.

Lamb will fit into the Cowboys system as one of the top three receivers next to Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

Yes, the Cowboys lost Randall Cobb in free agency, so getting another receiver was a priority. Now, they didn't have to do it in the first round, but because he was sitting there, and some of their other needs at cornerback were gone, it just made sense.

What I truly wonder is if A.J. Terrell from Clemson hadn't been taken with the pick ahead of the Cowboys at No. 16, would Lamb have been the pick? Sure, the Cowboys won't admit that, and they shouldn't have to. Maybe Terrell wasn't rated as high, but because of the need, he might've been the pick.

But we will never know.

So far, everything head coach Mike McCarthy has said about adding players has been true. He told us on three occasions that all he cares about is getting good players, and then they'll figure out the scheme after that.

And that was evident on Thursday night. Because taking defense just made sense.

Picking LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson would've helped immediately as a pass rusher. Getting safety Xavier McKinney would've also been a really good player and maybe even Lamb's teammate at OU, Kenneth Murray, a catalytic linebacker.

But Lamb is a true baller and has been for three years. He's averaged nearly 20 yards a catch over his collegiate career and improved his touchdown catch numbers from seven as a freshman to 11 in 2018 as a sophomore to 14 this past season as a junior.

And he did that with three different starting quarterbacks, which suggests to me that he can shine regardless of the situation.

Lamb comes into a really good spot here in Dallas, where Cooper and Gallup have already established themselves as a top duo in the NFL. Lamb instantly makes them one of the best trios even without catching a pass.

Maybe the Cowboys didn't exactly address the defense with this first pick. But if Lamb can make this potent offense even better, then it certainly helps the defense, and every other aspect of the team.

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