Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was a star at Oklahoma, and now he's a Cowboy. The DallasCowboys.com staff writers weigh in on the club's first-round draft pick (17th overall):
Nick Eatman: What I like about this pick is how the Cowboys just stayed true to their draft board. Teams say it all the time, but it's not always accurate, mainly because it's hard to do. Yeah, you can take the best player you've got it rated but he doesn't always help the team the most. In this case, they took a player who is too dynamic to pass up. Yes, there were greater needs, but not a better player to take. And when I look at Lamb's stats in college, what sticks out is how he averaged nearly 20 yards per catch and had three different quarterbacks. Now, two of them were the No. 1 overall pick in the draft in Mayfield and Murray and Jalen Hurts will be drafted this weekend, too. Still, changing quarterbacks can be a challenge for a receiver but not one with this kind of skill.
David Helman: This was the purest case of "need" against "best player available" I can ever remember seeing in my seven years of covering the draft. The Cowboys need pass rushers, and they had targeted K'Lavon Chaisson as far back as February. They didn't do as much homework on CeeDee Lamb because they never dreamed he'd be available. It'd be understandable if the Cowboys leaned into their need and drafted Chaisson. It'd be a defensible pick at a position of need. Instead, they did what good personnel departments do and drafted the best possible player. Lamb is a star waiting to happen and was too good to let go. The Cowboys were presented with a tough test on Thursday night, and they aced it.
Rob Phillips: Here's the part of CeeDee Lamb's game that gets overlooked, understandably so when a player racks up 32 touchdown catches in three college seasons: He's a capable punt returner, too. Lamb had 54 punt returns for an 8.8-yard average at Oklahoma. The Cowboys have more than just an opening at slot receiver now that Randall Cobb is headed to the Texans. Cobb and Tavon Austin, who has not been re-signed to this point, were the Cowboys' top two punt returners last year. The Cowboys are looking to improve their special teams under new coordinator John Fassel, and Lamb's likely to be in the conversation in the return game.
Mickey Spagnola: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might have said it best, just minutes after they selected Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th pick in the NFL draft: "If we're going to get it on offense, we need to get it now." Boy, they sure do. Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup. Two 1,000-yard receivers last year. Now the versatile Lamb, can play inside, can play outside. Great catch radius. Can hand him the ball. Anyone want to kick him the ball? Three-receiver sets will be my base offense. Go ahead and play nickel against me. Dare you. Now I'm coming right at you with Zeke, too, with one less linebacker on the field. If Lamb is as good as we think he is, my goodness, this might be the best three-man receiving corps the Cowboys have had since . . . well, ever. The stars sure shined on the Cowboys Thursday night.