September 2nd, 2021 at 11:13am CST by Sam Robinson
Two young Cowboys contributors will miss at least the team’s September portion of the season. Both defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and rookie cornerback Kelvin Josephwill begin their seasons on IR.
Gallimore is recovering from a dislocated elbow, while Joseph suffered a groin injury during Dallas’ preseason finale last week. While each is expected to return this season, neither can do so before Week 4. Gallimore’s timeline lines up with that return date.
The Cowboys made Joseph one of their top additions this offseason, one in which numerous resources went to a defensive repair effort. Dallas selected Joseph 44th overall. The 20-year-old defender who played at LSU and Kentucky was unlikely to begin the season in the Cowboys’ starting lineup, but this represents a setback to start his pro career.
The Cowboys have agreed to terms with No. 17 overall pick CeeDee Lamb (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Per the terms of his slot, Lamb will earn just over $14MM on his four-year deal, fully guaranteed.
Lamb was regarded as one of the three best wide receivers in this year’s class, but he was left waiting longer than expected on draft night. With the Cowboys, Lamb will have to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for targets, but there should be plenty of opportunities to go around. He’s expected to mostly work from the slot, where his soft hands can shine, and his lack of top-end speed won’t be quite as glaring.
Lamb, a consensus All-American in 2019, finished last season with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was the 6-foot-2, 191-pound wideout second-straight season with at least 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdowns.
As a refresher, here’s the full rundown of the Cowboys’ 2020 class:
This year’s wide receiver draft class was widely regarded as one of the deepest in recent memory. It was so deep, in fact, that teams felt they could secure immediate-impact players on Day 2 and even Day 3 of the draft. Still, a few players separated themselves from their peers and became first-round selections, the cream of a bountiful crop.
The consensus top three talents were Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama standouts Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. It would not have been surprising to see any of those three players taken in the top-10, and ultimately Ruggs came off the board first, going to the Raiders with the No. 12 overall selection.
The Broncos were quite content with that, as they snagged Jeudy – whom they considered trading up for – with the No. 15 pick. Then, although the Cowboys perhaps had more pressing needs, they could not turn down Lamb when he surprisingly fell into their laps at No. 17.
TCU’s Jalen Reagor was the next domino to fall, heading to the Eagles with the No. 21 selection. Reagor was something of a late riser in the process, as he had been mocked as a second- to third-round choice but began garnering attention as a potential first-rounder as we got closer to draft day. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman obviously saw something he liked, and he pounced.
But LSU’s Justin Jefferson, generally considered the fourth-best wideout in the class, didn’t have to wait too much longer to hear his name called. The Vikings took him one pick after Reagor.
All five of those players stand a good chance of becoming difference-makers for their respective clubs, as is the case with any first-round pick. But we would like to know from you which of them you think will have the biggest impact as a rookie.
With Ruggs, the Raiders added a speed merchant whose college production did not match that of Jeudy — his teammate of three years with the Crimson Tide — but who fits the Las Vegas offense nicely. The Raiders added another collegiate wideout, Bryan Edwards, in the third round, and they also took a flier on veteran Nelson Agholor. Still, it appears as if Ruggs has a good chance to start opposite Tyrell Williams, with Hunter Renfrow working the slot. Ruggs is electric with the ball in his hands, and he is not a one-dimensional deep threat; he is a solid route-runner who should only get better with coaching. His recent off-field injury seems to be a non-issue, and he will be a boost to a passing offense that performed better than one might think in 2019.
The Broncos, meanwhile, are building a strong young nucleus of skill position talent, and Jeudy will team with Courtland Sutton to form one of the most promising 1-2 punches in the game. He is a gifted route-runner whose excellent production against SEC defenses jumps off the page — he averaged 72 catches for 1,239 yards and 12 TDs over his final two years in school – and he has the versatility to line up outside or in the slot. Fellow rookie KJ Hamler, whom Denver nabbed in the second round, may get most of the slot reps, but Jeudy will be a threat no matter where he plays.
Though Lamb will have to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for targets, the Cowboys are perfectly capable of moving the ball through the air and will have plenty of opportunities to go around. Lamb should work primarily in the slot, which will mask some of the deficiencies he has as a route-runner and against press coverage. He has terrific hands and tracking ability, and though he may lack top-line speed, he is plenty quick enough to make things happen, and his overall athleticism is off the charts. He is also a strong and willing blocker, which Ezekiel Elliott will surely appreciate.
Due to injuries and under-performance, the Eagles’ WR group provided very little production last year. Veteran DeSean Jackson played just three games in 2019, Alshon Jeffery may start the season on the PUP list, and 2019 second-rounder JJ Arcega-Whiteside failed to live up to expectations. Philadelphia tried to trade up for Lamb but was happy to pick up Reagor, whose blazing speed could pair well with Jackson. Though it took a while for his stock to rise, that may have been because the TCU offense didn’t give him the chance to show off his route-running skills, so the more scouts were able to evaluate his tape, the more impressed they became. He struggled with drops from time to time, but with his abilities as a deep target and a YAC monster, he has the potential to be a dynamic pro. On the other hand, there are rumblings that Reagor will be asked to focus on just one position in 2020 and will be the understudy to D-Jax, so he may not get as much immediate PT as we might have expected.
Like the Eagles, the Vikings sorely needed to upgrade their WR corps, and Jefferson steps into a great situation, as Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs earlier in the offseason and did little to replace him. So Jefferson should start opposite Adam Thielen, whose mounting injury history could open up even more opportunities. Like most of the LSU offense, Jefferson was tremendous in 2019, securing 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TDs. He offers an intriguing blend of size and speed, and though he may struggle to create separation in the pros, he has good hands and runs good routes. The Vikings like to run the ball, but Kirk Cousins is a capable QB and Jefferson should see plenty of passes coming his way.
So let’s hear your thoughts. Tell us which of these five players will have the most impact on his team in 2020, and explain your reasoning in the comments.
In one of Thursday night’s biggest surprises, the Cowboys landed wide receiver CeeDee Lamb at No. 17. The Eagles tried to catch him as he fell by trading up to the Falcons No. 16 pick, Ed Werder of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears, but they were unable to get a deal done.
Few expected the Cowboys to go WR in the first round, but Jerry Jones took advantage of the opportunity that fell into his lap. And, some say, he came away with the best receiver in a class chock full of exceptional talent. Meanwhile, the Eagles stood pat at No. 21 and nabbed Jalen Reagor, who offers phenomenal speed backed by his sub-4.3-second 40-yard-dash time.
Most prognosticators and insiders believed that Lamb would not be available beyond the Raiders’ No. 12 pick. The Jets, at No. 11, were also a prime landing spot for the 2019 consensus All-American. When Gang Green opted for the braun of Mekhi Becton and the Raiders chose Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs instead, Lamb was left to wait nervously in his living room.
It’s not clear what the Eagles were offering the Falcons to slide back five spots, but it wasn’t enough for them to risk losing out on A.J. Terrell. Eagles fans may be a little extra grumpy about the Cowboys’ big score after learning of the trade attempt, but the Birds can’t be too mad about “settling” for the blazing speed of Reagor.
Lamb finished last season with 62 catches for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was Lamb’s second consecutive season with at least 1,000 yards and 10+ scores.
Could CeeDee Lamb be heading to Las Vegas? ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports (via Twitter) that the Raiders “really like” the Oklahoma wide receiver.
Lamb told Anderson that he had a difficult time reading into the Raiders’ interest in him during pre-draft interviews.
“Coach Gruden & Mayock were as serious as possible,” Lamb said. “I mean Gruden is a jokester, that’s my dog…but he and I have great vision in open space to the movement in front of me. That’s what helps me. My reaction time is very fast. That’s guaranteed.”
Still, Anderson’s source “reaffirms” the organization’s interest in the wideout, and the reporter heard similar rumblings last week. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the Raiders connected to a receiver prospect; yesterday, we heard that the organization was interested in Henry Ruggs.
Lamb, a consensus All-American in 2019, should be one of the first (if not the first) receiver off the board in tonight’s first round. The 6-foot-2, 191-pound wideout finished last season with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was Lamb’s second-straight season with at least 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdowns.
The Raiders are currently sitting with a pair of first-rounders in No. 12 and No. 19.
The Cardinals have themselves a star wide receiver after trading for DeAndre Hopkins, but this year’s WR class is talented enough to tempt every team. Even though the Cardinals may like Kyler Murray‘s one-time teammate CeeDee Lamb and other WR talents, they’re not expected to use their No. 8 pick on a receiver, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
With Hopkins installed as the Cardinals’ new WR1, Arizona will likely address larger needs with that pick – perhaps a stud defensive player or an offensive lineman. Then, somewhere around Nos. 11 or 12, where the Jets and Raiders pick, Rapoport expects the WR run to take flight. In that scenario, CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy stand out as likely candidates – they’re the consensus top receivers in this wildly talented crop, Rapoport hears.
Further down the board, the Eagles have been heavily connected to LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson. But, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) cautions that several teams could jump ahead of the Birds at No. 21 to land him. The Vikings (Nos. 22 and 25), Patriots (No. 23), and the Saints (No. 24) are all lurking, and they could make a play for a big-time WR like Jefferson.
April 13th, 2020 at 11:27am CST by Dallas Robinson
Speaking on Instagram Live, Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb confirmed that he’s held virtual pre-draft meetings with the Jets, 49ers, and Ravens (Twitter link via @TheSFNiners).
NFL clubs, of course, are not permitted to meet with prospects in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Lamb is widely expected to be one of the top three wideouts off the board along with Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs after posting at least 1,100 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons at Oklahoma.
Baltimore holds the 28th selection in the first round and doesn’t seem to have much of a chance of landing Lamb, but New York and San Francisco — picking 11th and 13th — are squarely in contention for the talented receiver. The Jets lost Robby Anderson in free agency, but replaced him with Breshad Perriman, and also have Jamison Crowder, Quincy Enunwa, and Josh Doctson on their roster.
Sports leagues across the world are shutdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the next big event for most fans to tune into is the NFL draft. The league is hoping the draft can serve as a welcomed distraction for the country, and we’ve got a fresh batch of notes on what’s happening from Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. It’s been assumed for a while now that the Bengals will be taking Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, but that apparently isn’t set in stone.
While the expectation is still that Burrow is the pick, there is “a lot of buzz in scouting circles that the Bengals will at least listen to calls” on potential trades for the top choice, Miller writes. Since there’s no one ahead of them, it wouldn’t make all that much sense for the Bengals to be playing games if they weren’t actually planning to listen to inquiries. As of a couple of weeks ago we had heard that the Dolphins were still interested in trading for the first pick and selecting Burrow.
Here’s more on the draft, which will now be held remotely:
New Redskins coach Ron Rivera has said ever since he took the position that Dwayne Haskins won’t just be handed the starting quarterback job and will need to compete. That has led to some rumblings that Washington could use the second overall pick on a quarterback, but that looks like it was all bluster. Sources told Miller that the Redskins are not considering using the pick on a passer, and it continues to look like Ohio State defensive end Chase Young will be the pick.
The Giants are in an interesting spot with the fourth pick, and Miller writes that he’s heard talk out of New York that the team loves Clemson do-it-all linebacker Isaiah Simmons. While Miller has made Simmons the pick in his latest mock draft, he notes there has been “quiet buzz building for Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs“ with the fourth overall pick. The Giants could certainly use an offensive tackle as well as Simmons’ versatility on defense, so either pick would make sense.
Speaking of the Dolphins, if they aren’t able to pull off the shocking trade up for Burrow, their situation is pretty up in the air. Although there has been a ton of talk over the last year linking Miami to Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa, multiple sources told Miller the team isn’t “convinced Tua is the best option and could instead target Oregon’s Justin Herbert.” In fact, the “buzz around the league is that Herbert has the most fans in the Dolphins’ draft room,” Miller writes. This echoes what Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald wrote back in February, when he reported that Miami had an “increasingly positive” view of Herbert and that the Dolphins were concerned about Tagovailoa’s hip as well as his long-term durability.
The Jets lost Robby Anderson in free agency and didn’t do much to replace him or add receiving help outside of signing Breshad Perriman. They could certainly use another wideout and while the sources Miller talked to still expected the Jets to take an offensive tackle with the 11th overall pick, he also learned that the team is very high on Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb. Lamb put up ridiculous numbers with the Sooners last year, racking up 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 13 games.