In a historic crop of wide receivers for this year’s NFL Draft class, the eyes of many analysts and dynasty fantasy football players were on two of the premier receivers in the NCAA, Jerry Jeudy of Alabama and CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma. Both receivers went in the first round, though Jeudy’s teammate Henry Ruggs III went before both of these players to the Las Vegas Raiders with the 12th overall pick. Jeudy went three picks later to the Denver Broncos and Lamb went two pics after that to the Dallas Cowboys. Both players will look to make impacts on already deep rosters, though Lamb will have the more established quarterback in Dak Prescott.
Most analysts expected Jeudy or Lamb to be the first wide receiver picked in this bountiful draft class that set an NFL record with 13 wide receivers taken within the first two rounds. Being drafted two picks apart is fitting for these two as they have been compared and contrasted throughout their college careers. The two receivers share a similar stature and look, both at about 6’1” and weighing about 190 lbs. Both are extremely polished route runners and looked NFL ready while still in college and both have the potential to be generational talents if they can keep improving at the NFL level.
While most scouts viewed Jeudy as the more polished overall receiver, Lamb has the advantage in quickness and elusiveness. He can break a defender’s ankles before he even blows by them, and once he gets going downhill on the field he is tough to stop. Lamb can take a simple screen pass to the house from anywhere on the field, he is just that elusive when he is at full speed. While that does bode well for the NFL, it also may be an issue of predictability as Lamb ran a fairly basic route tree at Oklahoma compared to Jeudy at Alabama. This is a large reason as to why Jeudy seems more polished, he already has experience with a vast playbook. Lamb also isn’t as physical as Jeudy and needs some work developing his ability to catch down field while taking contact from a defender. Jeudy seems to embrace the physicality that comes with trying to gain more yardage. Not that Lamb shies away from it, but being elusive and shifty is far more a part of his game than crashing into defenders.
Jeudy is also much more of a hazard as a deep ultimatum, which of course goes hand in hand with being a great route runner. We’re not saying Jeudy isn’t fast either, if you hesitate he will blow right past you and take it all the way in the blink of an eye. With that being said, Jeudy’s quarterback in Denver, Drew Lock, isn’t yet known for his deep balls so expect Jeudy’s route tree to remain relatively rudimentary in his rookie season, especially as he finds himself as a number two receiver behind Courtland Sutton. Lamb has even more competition for passes with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already established in Dallas. It is extremely difficult to choose one or the other here, as Jeudy could have more of an immediate impact in Denver but Lamb seems to have more explosive upside in the long run.
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