While there has been debate about which receiver should come off the board first in this month's NFL draft, scouts have landed on CeeDee Lamb over Jerry Jeudy.
Bob McGinn of The Athletic polled 17 league executives, who ranked Lamb over Jeudy as the top wideout in the 2020 class. Lamb had 10 first-place votes and 87 points compared to Jeudy's five and 86; Henry Ruggs III and Tee Higgins were the only two other wideouts in the class to receive first-place votes.
"You throw the ball up, he's coming down with it," one scout told McGinn about Lamb. "He's got courage. He has better feet than [Justin] Jefferson. I had no idea he could run as good as he did. He's a great kid on top of it. He's a no-brainer."
Lamb has been one of the most explosive playmakers in college football the last two seasons, compiling 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019. One scout was concerned about Lamb's competition level, pointing to weak Big 12 defenses, but the consensus was he is the most complete receiver in the class.
Jeudy, who was viewed by most as the No. 1 wideout during the college football season, came in a close second in the poll. While most evaluators praised his complete skill set, others noted that he doesn't have one elite trait.
"I think Calvin Ridley, his former teammate, was a little bit better of a route runner," a scout told McGinn. "He'll be able to get open. He can really slam on the brakes and lose people. All the physical traits are good, but nothing's elite."
Lamb, Jeudy and Ruggs are all expected to be top-20 picks later this month in what's been described as one of the deepest wide receiver classes in history. While none of the top stars grade out as a can't-miss superstar—the Calvin Johnsons, Julio Joneses of the world—one scout said at least 20 wideouts could wind up having an NFL impact.
"Deepest I've ever seen," a veteran scout said. "I like so many of them, and for different reasons."
With so many solid receivers in one class, it's likely there will be a bit of a cooling effect once the top names are off the board. Don't be surprised if some guys who would be first rounders in most years wind up sliding into Day 2 as teams emphasize thinner positions.