Dallas Cowboys Draft Oklahoma Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb With 17th Overall Pick

Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb stands on the field during warmups prior to an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)

CeeDee Lamb said he did not know where he would fall in the first round of the NFL draft, but the Dallas Cowboys certainly never expected him to be available with the 17th overall pick.

With an opportunity too good to pass up, the Cowboys selected the Oklahoma wide receiver in Thursday’s first round, marking the first time they took a receiver in the top round since Dez Bryant in 2010.

The Cowboys entered the first round thinking defense, especially after losing cornerback Byron Jones and pass-rusher Robert Quinn in free agency. They had their chance to select LSU pass-rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, but went with the best-available-player approach by taking Lamb.

In fact, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Lamb was the sixth-rated player on their draft board, and the Cowboys passed on three different trade-down opportunities.

“Lamb prevailed,” Jones said. “We just didn’t want to miss him. Those trades ultimately are supposed to add another player to be valuable, but we couldn’t trump him. He was just there. He’s a football player. He’s a playmaker. He just earned it.”

Entering the draft, many expected Lamb to be the first receiver selected among one of the deeper groups in recent memory. Instead, he was the third behind Henry Ruggs III (Las Vegas Raiders, No. 12) and Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos, No. 15), the two former Alabama stars.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys did not do a pre-draft mock that had Lamb available at 17.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Todd Archer