Arizona Cardinals' NFL draft rumblings include pairing CeeDee Lamb with Kyler Murray

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
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NFL draft rumors and speculation surrounding Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and the Arizona Cardinals have been circulating for weeks.

They aren't slowing down as the NFL draft approaches later this month.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer touched on the topic Monday, writing that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray really wants his team to select his former Sooners teammate in the 2020 NFL draft.

"It’s a relationship business, and there are rumblings that Kyler Murray has given the Arizona brass a glowing review of his former teammate Lamb," Breer wrote. "Would the Cardinals take one, given that they have DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk on their roster, and drafted three of them last year? I’m skeptical, particularly with how nicely a big-time right tackle like Wills would fit the bill. But it’s worth keeping an eye on anyway."

Lamb himself helped fan the rumor flames last week.

In an interview on Instagram Live with CBS Sports, Lamb was very positive about joining a team that includes Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins and Murray, as well as coach Kliff Kingsbury.

“It’s closest to being the little bro of everybody and just learning from a lot of great people,” he said.

He called the Cardinals “a very young team and talented” and said he would be “honored” to be a part of it.

“I’d actually be real excited because a lot of people compare me to D-Hop,” he said. “If you put me with him, you’ve got two of them. That’s fun.”

In the interview, Lamb said he would learn a lot from both Fitzgerald and Hopkins and compared it to how Hopkins had to have learned early in his career with the Houston Texans from Andre Johnson. He called Hopkins a “young older guy” who has a ton of experience.

MORE: NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals' 2020 NFL draft predictions for all 6 picks

Murray appears to have been lobbying the Cardinals to take Lamb at No. 8 in the draft.

“Me and CeeDee have a great relationship,” Murray recently told The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman. “That’s one of my boys. I would obviously be very fond of that pick. Obviously, I don’t make the choices. I’m here for whatever, but I’m looking forward to free agency and us adding some great players and adding more of them in the draft so we can continue to grow this thing. But yeah, if we pick CeeDee, that would be great. We have a very comfortable relationship. I’ve played with him, I’ve been with him for years, so yeah, I don’t think that would be a bad pick at all.”

Lamb caught 62 passes for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns last season at Oklahoma.

With Murray as his quarterback in 2018, he had 65 receptions for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Could the Arizona Cardinals draft CeeDee Lamb, Kyler Murray's college football teammate at Oklahoma, in the 2020 NFL draft?

Cardinals GM Steve Keim recently said that Murray was making it clear as to how he felt about Lamb potentially being the Arizona Cardinals' pick at No. 8.

“From my text stream, you can tell Kyler likes him,” Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“You always would also lean towards guys that you know,” Keim explained to the Doug & Wolf Show about Murray's relationship with Lamb potentially playing a factor in the Cardinals' process in the NFL draft. “If you know the person or you have confidence in who they are, through the information you obtain, it certainly gives you more confidence.”

In the same interview with 98.7 FM, Keim compared Lamb to star NFL receiver Deandre Hopkins, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals. “You watch CeeDee Lamb and there are some things that come to mind when I watch him that remind me a little bit of DeAndre Hopkins,” he said. “You talk about a guy that maybe isn’t the fastest vertically, but is gritty, tough and runs great routes.”

MORE:Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray just scratching surface of potential, Lincoln Riley says

After the Cardinals swung that blockbuster trade for DeAndre Hopkins, NFL mock draft projections started shying away from Arizona taking a wide receiver with the team's first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

After all, the team now has a loaded wide receiver room, with Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk at the top of the depth chart.

But could Arizona still take a wide receiver with its first draft pick?

The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman shared his thoughts during a recent video roundtable discussion about the Cardinals.

"I wouldn't put it past the Cardinals," McManaman said. "I think CeeDee Lamb is going to be there at eight and even though they don't really need him, it would be awfully (hard) for them to pass on CeeDee Lamb. Kyler Murray wants him, he's his buddy, it's his former teammate."

McManaman shared some other thoughts on what the Cardinals might do in the NFL draft.

"They are pretty set at wide receiver," he said. "If Isaiah Simmons falls to them, I think they take Isaiah Simmons. I don't really think an offensive tackle is that glaring of a need right now as much as everyone outside this organization seems to think it is. It still very well may be a lineman, but you've got a left tackle, you've got a right tackle coming back in Justin Murray, I don't think it's imperative.

"CeeDeeLamb. Larry's still going to retire, someday, maybe … You've got a No. 1 in DeAndre, add a 1A, 1B, I'd take that in a heartbeat. I know everyone is screaming for OT. I think everything is on the table, but they can do anything they want."

Cards Wire's Jess Root contributed to this story.

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