Statistical Profile: Lamb was a huge contributor to Oklahoma’s offense even as a true freshman, catching 46 passes for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. Over three years as a Sooner, Lamb went over 1,100 yards twice and caught 32 touchdowns in 40 games, while averaging 19 yards per catch.
Where he wins: Lamb may not be quite at Jerry Jeudy’s level of separation and consistent route-running, but he’s more than good enough in both areas and he’s better than his Alabama counterpart above-the-rim. What I love about Lamb’s projection to the NFL is that he can thrive in any offense and from the slot or on the outside.
Get him the ball underneath and he’ll break tackles and elude defenders. Want him to run digs or crossers? He can drop his hips at the top of the route and separate, finishing over the middle of the field without fear. How about down the field? Lamb may not be a burner, but he’s got enough speed to create separation vertically, and he finishes on the football at a high level.
Ball skills and YAC (yards after catch) will be the calling cards you hear most often with Lamb, but he really does have the ability to win at all levels against all types of cornerbacks if his technique can be perfected at the next level. In the most high-profile match-ups of his career against Texas, Baylor, LSU and Alabama (2018), Lamb was spectacular, although he did let a few opportunities get away from him against the Tigers with uncharacteristic drops.
Lastly, Lamb is a competitor who plays like an alpha in all physical exchanges, using his hands to separate at the top of his patterns and to gain optimal position when the ball is in the air. His blocking could be more consistent, but he has the frame and attitude to be an asset on the edge in the NFL. Lamb’s demeanor before, during and after the catch are indicative of the type of high-volume target teams desire in a no. 1 receiver.
Where he may struggle: Some will be watching his NFL Scouting Combine times with great interest, but I think he looks more than fast enough on tape. Lamb has been compared to DeAndre Hopkins, who I did not scout out of college, and it is easy to see the similarities in build and style. But where Hopkins wins in the NFL is as an elite technician in his routes, releases and understanding of coverages, and those are all areas where Lamb could stand to improve as he becomes a pro.
Like it or not, the Big 12 is simply not a challenging conference for wide receivers to play in, due to the softer coverages and lack of elite level talent. While Lamb did bring it in big games, the reality is that the NFL will be a step up for him in regards to how teams defend him, and that will likely require a higher level of polish on his part before he reaches his peak.
Bucs Fit: If Lamb is on the board when Tampa Bay picks, the team will still likely go the route of a bigger need. He’s a fine fit in any offense, but if the Bucs were to go wide receiver that early I would want an elite field stretcher to keep opening up space in the middle of the field for Godwin and Evans, or a slot that can run inside fades to occupy safeties and give the Bucs’ two All-Pro receivers one-on-one match-ups on the outside. Lamb can do some of that stuff, but I don’t think he’s different enough from the guys Tampa Bay has now to be the preference at No. 14. And also he’s so good that if they picked him I wouldn’t be mad, either.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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