The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books. The Dallas Cowboys continued their philosophy of taking the best player available.
In a perfect world, the Dallas Cowboys would have a difference making player fall to them at the 17th pick of the NFL draft. Ideally, that player would be a turnover causing playmaker for the defense.
That story didn’t happen. Instead, the Cowboys took the best player available in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma.
Daniel Jeremiah, the NFL.com draft expert, had Lamb rated as his ninth rated overall player and first rated wide receiver in the draft class. Todd McShay, from ESPN, had Lamb rated as the second highest wide receiver and tenth overall prospect in the draft.
For the Cowboys, the discipline to stick to their draft board and take the best player available won’t be rewarded until the games return, hopefully in the fall. The defensive makeover will need to wait until Day Two and Three of the draft.
While the story of the night was hope, kicked off by Peyton Manning voicing a two-and-a-half-minute piece paying tribute to those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, the Cowboys are hoping that their offense will outscore everyone in 2020. The strength of the draft is clearly at the wide receiver position.
On Monday, Peter King had a piece in his Football Morning in America column showing that second round wide receivers have outperformed first round wide receivers from the 2016 to 2019 drafts. The data shows that nine of the eleven most productive receivers were taken in the second round.
Cowboys Nation are hoping that this trend doesn’t continue. Lamb has played on the outside and the slot in his time in Norman. Michael Irvin shared on the draft telecast that he scored seven touchdowns from the slot and another seven from the outside.
It’s not clear that Lamb will exclusively take Randall Cobb’s slot role as the Cowboys now stack Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb with each able to play from the slot. We can expect the Cowboys to use three receiver sets to spread out the defense to isolate favorable match-ups.
While no guarantee, first round picks are the best shot to find an impact player in the draft. The Cowboys will be setting up their quarterback for the franchise’s first 5000 yard passing season. It just might take that for the ‘Boys to outscore their opponents.