Many considered this recent receiver class to be one of the best in decades, and two players who were near the top of this class were Dallas Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb and Las Vegas Raiders’ Henry Ruggs.
Since Lamb entered college football, it seemed as though he was destined to be an elite receiver. As a high schooler, Lamb was a 4-Star receiving prospect coming out of Foster high school in Richmond, Texas. Even though Lamb grew up in Texas, he ultimately committed to the University of Oklahoma on July 25th, a month after Lincoln Riley was named the head coach of Oklahoma.
At Oklahoma, Lamb played as a true freshman, and boy did he look good. In Lambs first year at Oklahoma, he played incredible for a first-year player as he finished with 807 yards and 17.5 yards per reception. In the upcoming years, Lamb would end up becoming one of the most dominant receivers in college football and managed to finished 6th on PFF’s draft board after his junior year.
While Lamb was torching the Big 12 with the likes of Jalen Hurts, Baker Mayfield, and Kyler Murray, Henry Ruggs was out East scorching SEC defenses with his speed
While Lamb was a less desired commodity amongst recruiting sites, as 247 Sports had him ranked at 24th amongst receivers, and ESPN had him ranked at 39th, Ruggs, on the other hand, was certainly more well known and desired as 247 sports had him ranked as their 11th best receiver.
Ruggs played his high school ball in Las Vegas, playing for Robert E Lee High School. While in high school, Ruggs played both basketball and football, but ultimately decided to play football for the University of Alabama. He committed to Alabama just 12 days after visiting the school.
While at Alabama, Ruggs played three years. Ruggs did not do much in his freshman year as he only caught 12 receptions, but in his Sophomore and Junior years, he showed his true talent. In the following years, Ruggs would establish himself as not only of the best deep threats in college football, but also one of the best receivers in college football.
Like Lamb, Ruggs was regarded as one of the best receivers in college football when he declared for the NFL Draft, and was only four spots behind him on PFF’s big board, which placed him at the 10th spot on their board.
Lamb and Ruggs were two of the best receivers heading into the draft and it was clear that they were both going to get drafted in the 1st round, it was just a matter of when. Ruggs ultimately was the 1st receiver off the board as he went 12th to the Oakland Raiders. Rugg’s teammate, Jerry Jeudy, ended up getting drafted ahead of Lamb, as the Broncos took Jeudy with the 15th pic, which allowed the Cowboys to take Lamb two picks later with the 17th pick.
While CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III were only five picks apart in terms of where they went in the draft, they landed in two different situations, which will ultimately effect which of the two has the better rookie season.