• Akash Anavarathan

Former coach: WR CeeDee Lamb "makes inaccurate quarterbacks look better than they are"

Everybody's been gushing over CeeDee Lamb the receiver, the one on the field that physically dominates for 60 minutes and embarrasses opposing defenders. But before Lamb started to make headlines at Oklahoma, there was one person that already saw a bright future for him in the NFL.

Foster High School head coach Shaun McDowell had already coached tackles Russell Okung and Cameron Fleming into the NFL, but he admitted to me that Lamb was arguably the most talented out of all three players in a sit-down interview.

McDowell coached Lamb for four years in Texas, before he headed to rival Oklahoma to continue his collegiate career. Lamb's high school coach was gushing over the man, calling him "an unbelievable young man, with all the friends in the world and a smile that will light up any locker room."

One of the games that McDowell remembers the most from their time together involves Lamb catching not one -- but two -- hail-mary passes to push Foster High over the edge in 2014. In the fourth quarter, with 10 seconds remaining, Lamb caught a 40-yard game-winning pass in the end zone, but it was negated due to a penalty. They re-run the same play and Lamb leaps over three defenders to haul in the catch to seal the win. It was such a memorable play, that Lamb has it tattooed on his shoulder.

Lamb's coach believes that his strengths are his football IQ, his physicality and toughness on the field and his ability to make magic after the catch. McDowell made a point of emphasis to note that Lamb makes the quarterback look better -- not the other way around. The Foster high coach thinks that Lamb plays in the matrix, noting his ability to see plays unfold on the field before they actually happen.

His large catch radius makes inaccurate quarterbacks look accurate. He's also fearless on the field, shown in his run blocking, where he's relentless going after defensive backs.

He thinks that his adjusting to the speed of the game and learning all the different defensive coverages at the next level will be Lamb's biggest challenge.

Looking ahead to the NFL Draft, McDowell, a noted Texans' fan, wishes that "Lamb ends up anywhere but the Dallas Cowboys." He sees his best NFL fit as the Arizona Cardinals, due to his chemistry with quarterback Kyler Murray during their time as Sooners, but doesn't think it's a logical landing spot after the Cardinals traded for DeAndre Hopkins.

That makes the Cardinals' trade for Hopkins ironic, because McDowell sees the former Texans' receiver as the best pro comparison for Lamb. Their similarities in route running, physicality after the catch and ball skills make them comparable.

If the San Francisco 49ers were to draft Lamb, McDowell believed that he would be a great fit with head coach Kyle Shanahan and thinks that Lamb could bring something unique to the 49ers' receiving group.

If general manager John Lynch and Shanahan are able to add Lamb with the No. 13 overall pick, they're about to land an unbelievably talented young man.

Cover Image: Brad Graham, Fourth and Nine


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