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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Cowboys reportedly had no plans to draft wide receiver in first round

CeeDee Lamb

Sometimes fans will look back on a draft and wonder how a player slipped so far. That may end up being the case with CeeDee Lamb, who was taken No. 17 overall by the Dallas Cowboys in April’s draft.

So how did Lamb fall so far? And how did the Cowboys end up with him? Well, they weren’t planning on it, but they adjusted when he was there.

The Athletic’s Mike Sando wrote a column published on Friday featuring comments from NFL executives about the draft. A comment about the Cowboys said Dallas did not have plans to take a receiver until Lamb fell to them.

“Dallas had no intention of taking a receiver,” an exec told Sando. “Then the receiver who was arguably the top one in the class (CeeDee Lamb) falls to them. OK, they are going to be in 11 personnel a lot. It makes sense, them taking him.”

Many teams are more focused on drafting for a need, which likely explains why Atlanta took cornerback A.J. Terrell at No. 16. Denver preferred Jerry Jeudy and took the former Alabama wide receiver at No. 15, while the Raiders also happened to prefer a different Bama wide receiver — speedster Henry Ruggs — whom they took at No. 12.

Rather than focus on needs, the Cowboys stuck to their draft board and took the best player available, which is the smartest play. Why? Because five years down the line, you don’t want to be the team that missed on a big playmaker like Lamb because you thought you needed a cornerback or interior lineman instead.

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