It's been said that expectations can sometimes break an athlete. When rookie Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb was selected 17th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, the bar was set extremely high for him considering he was widely regarded as the best at his position coming out of the college ranks. Five games into his inaugural NFL season, Lamb has not only met expectations but he's exceeded them.
Currently, according to Pro Football Reference, Lamb leads all rookie receivers in targets, receptions, and yards. That's a highly impressive start but it doesn't stop there. Lamb leads the Cowboys in receiving yards (433) and yards per game (86.6) and is second on the team in targets (40) and receptions (29). Also, his chemistry with Dak Prescott, before his season-ending injury, was off to an incredible start as the duo were successful at a 72.5% rate.
CeeDee Lamb took a man’s life. pic.twitter.com/BLH4f59Cpr
Per Pro Football Focus, Lamb leads all rookies in receptions over 15 yards (11) and receptions for first downs (20) and is tops for all receivers league-wide in yards out of the slot (396). He's the first Cowboys receiver to have two 100-yard performances in his first five games. Also, his 433 yards on the season so far are not only sixth in the NFL but are the third-most receiving yards for any rookie through five games since the 1970 merger. If Lamb keeps up this current pace he'll finish with 93 receptions for 1,386 yards and six touchdowns which is mind-blowing.
The most important for any player, regardless of position, is to be consistent each week, and the rookie sensation understands that.
“That’s probably been one of my biggest priorities is being consistent, because anybody can go out there and just have a flash game of a 100-yard game,” Lamb said, per Jon Machota of The Athletic. “I take my position very seriously.”
“For one, it takes a lot of pressure off me. For two, I feel like you can't double any of us. And three, you get a lot of man-to-man coverages. That goes back to No. 2,” Lamb said, per ESPN's Todd Archer. “You learn from guys like that, that have great enough experience, you know, any question I ask, they have the answer to. And they're young. It don't get no better than that, just having young, older guys on the field with me, guiding me. They've seen everything that I've seen.”
Lamb is not only absorbing that knowledge but he's translating it to the field. The scary thing, for NFL defenses anyway, is that Lamb, as mentioned earlier, is only five games into his career. If he's already this good just imagine where his game will be two or three years from now.
The Cowboys hit a home run, to use a baseball reference when they handed in Lamb's draft card back in April.