Despite pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson still being available, the Dallas Cowboys draft wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick Thursday night.
Entering the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the position of wide receiver was considered a need for the Dallas Cowboys. But with the presence of starters Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already on the depth chart, there seemed to be other more pressing areas of need to address on the roster.
And as the draft progressed, the Cowboys found themselves in a very favorable position owning the 17th overall selection in the first round. When their number was finally called, LSU pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson was still available.
Chaisson, who was mocked to Dallas endlessly leading up to the annual college selection event, would fill a major need on the Cowboys’ roster. And that’s due to the fact the team’s sack leader from 2019, Robert Quinn, moved on last month signing a five-year, $70 million deal to join Chicago Bears via free agency.
For months, Chaisson was the projected top pick for the Cowboys by many draftniks. But throwing a monkey wrench into those plans was Oklahoma wide receiver, CeeDee Lamb. The uber-talented wideout wasn’t expected to be available for Dallas at No. 17. But he was. And suddenly the Cowboys had a major decision to make.
The choice appeared to be between team need and best player available. Chaisson clearly filled the bigger need as the Cowboys could use a promising young pass rusher. Defensive end Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory are both currently suspended and awaiting word about possible reinstatement. The rest of the depth chart includes Tyrone Crawford, Dorance Armstrong, Joe Jackson, and Jalen Jelks available to play opposite of two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys also lost slot receiver Randall Cobb in free agency this offseason. Cobb recorded 55 receptions for 828 yards and three scores in 2019. That performance earned him a surprising three-year, $27 million contract to join the Houston Texans in March.
Beyond Cooper and Gallup, the Cowboys’ depth chart at wide receiver includes names like Cedrick Wilson, Devin Smith, Jon’Vea Johnson, Noah Brown, and Ventell Bryant. Adding someone like Lamb to the wide receiver corps would secure their top three and give quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon.
In the end, the Cowboys opted to draft Lamb 17th overall. And the reason was simple. Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin confirmed via the NFL.com that the Sooner wideout was the top receiver on the Cowboys’ draft board. He was the best player available.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound was a dynamic playmaker in college, recording 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 21.4 yards per catch in 13 games as a junior at Oklahoma. His skill set has evaluators comparing him to the Arizona Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins and former Cincinnati Bengals star, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson.
The Dallas Cowboys now possess a starting trio of wide receivers that is the envy of every other NFL team. With Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb lining up against opposing defenses in 2020, a Cowboys’ offense that ranked second in the league in passing yards last season has suddenly got even better.