CeeDee Lamb – 6’3” 172 – Foster HS – Richmond, Texas
Speed — Lamb ran a verified 4.59 40-yard dash. At his height, that is a really great speed. There are multiple plays on his film showing him simply out running the coverage and then finishing the catch off by speeding into the endzone. Perhaps what impressed me the most with his speed is how fast he reaches top speed. A few plays display his ability to catch a curl or stop route, spin inside or outside and then outrun defenders who were already pursuing him at full speed.
Hands — Two words come to mind here: “super soft”. You can tell by watching the film Lamb is the kind of guy who can catch an aspirin in a snow storm. His HS quarterback took advantage of Lamb’s height and soft hands by throwing up a lot of jump balls. While Lamb won’t be able to always out athlete the corners he will face in college, it is obvious he just has the “it” factor when talking about his hands. He catches the ball out and away from his body, which is always a big plus when looking at a young receiver. He has an amazing one-handed grab going over the middle that is just phenomenal. When you factor in he is going across the middle, moving across the formation, with the ball being thrown high and back, it is even more impressive.
Body Control — This is important to me in a receiver because, let’s face it, quarterbacks do not always deliver perfect footballs that allow for an in-stride reception. Lamb displays a great ability to adjust to footballs while he is in the air by turning his torso just so. He also demonstrates good balance when he runs his routes. More on that below.
Route Running — Much of Lamb’s film shows him running fade routes and posts. There are several instances, however, showing his ability to sink his hips into a route and get his feet underneath him with proper timing. One thing I used to drill into my wide receivers was “no wasted steps”. My philosophy behind this was, if your feet are moving but you aren’t going anywhere then you are wasting steps. Lamb does a great job of always moving to a spot. He is quick out of breaks and appears to have a great ability to be running full speed in and out of those breaks.
Blocking — Ok, this isn’t a “sexy” area for a wide receiver but it is so vital. Back to my coaching days, I always said the difference between a first down and a touchdown was the quality of the wide receiver blocking. My coaching points were always to break down and keep your eyes on the belly button of the defender, with your eyes below his chin strap, his legs between yours (meaning yours were wider), while having your hands ready to explode into his chest. Lamb does this pretty well. I am sure it is probably difficult for him to get great leverage simply because he is six-foot-three, but he does a good enough job getting low. A few instances, I noticed Lamb allowing space between him and the man he was blocking. I used to teach my receivers to let go at that point, so as to avoid a holding call, and attempt to re-engage. This is something that is easily correctable, but is one of the few weaknesses I saw on film (and I admit it is nitpicking).
Overall — Lamb is a player. One thing I wrote down as I watched his film was “nasty”. He likes contact. He has a couple of crack-back blocks that he runs through. There are a few plays that show up really going after the man he is blocking. I enjoy seeing a wide receiver blocking on the edge because it shows he is not a selfish player. Lamb appeared to be very much about his team. He appeared willing to do what it took for the plays to be successful even when he knew he was not getting the football.
His ability to catch the football at its highest point is a thing of beauty. This is something that I used to drill every day with my receivers. Catching the football at its apex is vital, but especially when you are six-foot-three. His senior year production was so eye popping. What probably kept him from a fifth star is elite speed but he does not need it. He has a frame to add 15-20 pounds of good weight. A wide receiver at six-foot-three 200 pounds, with his skill set, is a nightmare for a lot defensive backs. To me, he compares to James Washington at Oklahoma State, only taller. The kind of guy with enough speed to make you pay, catches everything, and is gritty.
Redshirt or Play the Man: Programs don’t recruit guys like Lamb to give them a year to develop. What I mean by that is he appears to be “day one” ready. He will need to polish up his route precision, but if he’s as talented as he appears, that is not a heavy lift. Lamb can pose physical mismatches for opposing corners while having the overall skill set to be a more lethal vertical threat than other players currently on campus. Lamb’s body control and ball skills appear to be too good for him to sit on the sidelines enough for a redshirt in 2017.