The Detroit Lions selected receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown of Northern California with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday night, adding a legitimate building block for an offense that has been lacking one since Calvin Johnson retired.
The “Amon-Ra St. Brown” is a wide receiver for the Detroit Lions that has been a building block for this team. This guy has shown flashes of being a legitimate threat in the passing game and has also been able to break big plays in the running game. He is definitely someone that you should keep an eye on going forward.
Dan Campbell’s Detroit Lions will be hoping to improve on a 3-13-1 season in his first season as head coach. As the Lions prepare to enter the summer and begin putting up a game plan, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged as a key component.
St. Brown put in another great performance in the Lions’ Week 18 triumph over the Green Bay Packers, proving that he may be the real thing as the Lions’ No. 1 option going forward.
For the Detroit Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown had a fantastic season.
The Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 carries the ball after a catch against the Green Bay Packers in the second half | Nic Antaya/Getty Images
For Detroit, St. Brown has had a few weeks to write his name in the record books. Against the Packers at home, he had eight receptions for 109 yards and one score.
St. Brown was absolutely unstoppable, and this was even with the Packers’ starting secondary on the field.
The victory against Green Bay was a good way to cap the season, but it was just one of St. Brown’s many highlights.
He had over 100 yards receiving for the second game in a row versus Green Bay, and he had caught eight or more catches for the sixth game in a row. That second statistic is noteworthy because it propelled him over great Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson, who previously held the record for the most straight games with eight or more receptions. In terms of rookie records in Detroit, St. Brown’s yards versus the Packers placed him in a select club. He became Detroit’s all-time leader in catches by a rookie last weekend against the Seahawks. He also passed Roy Williams to become Detroit’s all-time leader in yards caught by a rookie against the Packers.
For a player selected 112th overall, that’s not terrible company. Johnson was selected as the second overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft. In 2004, Detroit selected Williams eighth overall.
St. Brown is motivated by his lack of selection in the NFL Draft in 2021.
In terms of St. Brown’s draft location in relation to Johnson and Williams, the young receiver has rightfully exploited what he perceives to be an unjustified drop into the fourth round to fuel his ambitions.
St. Brown told Kyle Meinke earlier this season, “(Not hearing that name sooner) was absolutely one of the times in my life that I will never forget, the sensation I felt.” “Day 1 passed quickly; I wasn’t expecting to get to the second round, but I was alright.” On the second day, I was hoping to hear my name. And the sensation I felt inside witnessing so many receivers go before me, I can’t even describe it.
“It was heartbreaking. That has a very motivating effect on me.”
St. Brown has looked motivated this season, and it’s worth remembering that just a couple of the 16 wide receivers selected before of him in 2021 have had the same effect on the Lions as St. Brown had in his first season.
Sure, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase is a superstar, and Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith will be excellent for their respective teams.
Would the Giants have taken St. Brown over Kadarius Toney with the 20th pick? What about the Ravens, who selected Rashad Bateman with the 27th overall pick? At No. 49, Rondale Moore to the Cardinals? Dee Eskridge was selected 56th overall by the Seahawks. Would the Seahawks be interested in a makeover?
The list might go on forever.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but there is an argument to be made that St. Brown should have been drafted in the first or second round in 2021.
The four aforementioned rookie receivers have combined for three touchdowns this season. St. Brown rushed for 912 yards and five touchdowns in his debut season.
He was taken in the mid-rounds by the Lions, and he should be an important component of the team going forward.
For the Lions, St. Brown seems to be a key element.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) of the Detroit Lions scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Michigan | Getty Images/Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto
A three-win season isn’t going to make anybody happy, but every ounce of momentum helps Campbell and the Lions as they enter year two of yet another rebuild in Detroit. The most important aspect of any rebuild is creating a positive culture, which is why even three victories are crucial for Detroit. Winning frequently breeds more winning, but loss may spread like a virus if it isn’t completely systemic. That has been a tremendous problem for the Lions throughout the years, and it is, by far, Campbell’s most crucial challenge as head coach.
That, and getting additional skill for a team that is otherwise underwhelming.
You need to start with a few cornerstone players if you want to develop a great squad. St. Brown seems to match that template, which is fantastic news for Detroit.
He’s obviously gifted, but he also plays the way a young receiver should. Going up to collect the football, he’s fearless and more powerful than his stature suggests. He’s the sort of possession receiver you can just feed the ball to, as seen by the fact that he’s received so many targets this season.
But it’s what he’s done with them that’s more spectacular than his targets. Since early December, St. Brown has grabbed 51 of the 67 targets that have been thrown his way, for a healthy 76 percent catch rate.
On the field, he looks excellent, and the numbers back him up. Will he develop into a top NFL receiver?
Only time will tell.
St. Brown, on the other hand, is the genuine thing, and the Lions will be better off in the future as a result of him.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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