In his mock draft released Monday, Peter King of NBC Sports reported that Raiders general manager Mike Mayock "loves" Lamb, whom he has going to Vegas at No. 12 overall.
King added that Mayock "thinks he's the most complete receiver in the draft." King also believes head coach Jon Gruden would "prefer" speedster Henry Ruggs III (4.27 40-yard dash), but it's clear Las Vegas will likely target a wideout with its top first-round pick.
Mayock has been publicly skeptical about selecting a receiver high in the draft. He told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that the position's miss rate is about as high as quarterbacks and was open about wanting a player who can make an instant impact.
"What I'm most nervous about, if you're going to draft a wideout, is can we get first-year production out of the guy?" Mayock said, per Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News. "Because if you look at the numbers, it's not real good."
Lamb is perhaps the most complete receiver in this class, measuring in at 6'2" and 198 pounds while possessing 4.5-second 40-yard-dash speed and a solid 34½-inch vertical. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. recently compared him to DeAndre Hopkins on SportsCenter (h/t Nick Kosko of 247Sports):
"I call him CeeDee YAC and that’s yards after catch. He has the stiff arm. He's physical and rugged with the ball in his hands. He competes for every catch. The comparison that everybody goes to, I think it’s valid. DeAndre Hopkins. You see the way he works and the way he competes and you see that with CeeDee Lamb. CeeDee Lamb doesn't have 4.35 speed. Neither does DAndre Hopkins. He’s in that 4.5 to 4.57 range. But on the field, you don’t want to deal with him if you’re a cornerback because he brings the physicality."
If Lamb winds up producing at a Hopkins-like level, the Raiders would be more than thrilled to land him at No. 12. Production was never an issue for the Oklahoma product, who compiled 1,327 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns as one of the best big-play receivers in the country. He was a consensus All-American in 2019 and has shown no real glaring weaknesses in his game.
Perhaps the biggest knock on all the top receivers in this class is the draft's depth at the position. Most talent evaluators consider this one of the deepest wideout classes in history, making it not only possible but also likely starters will be available Day 3.