Amon-Ra St. Brown has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the past month-plus, leaving most of his fellow 2021 draft classmates in his dust.
Over the past five games, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has 43 receptions for 451 yards and four touchdowns. The raw numbers are great, and even rookie record-setting in some respects over the course of the run, which makes it easy to forget St. Brown was the 112th player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Deeper metrics like St. Brown’s recent work too. Since Week 13 Pro Football Focus has graded him as a top-five wide receiver in overall and receiving grade, with zero drops and a top-12 catch rate. That’s among all wide receivers, and only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams have a better overall grade over the last five weeks.
PFF’s Doug Kyed talked to St. Brown recently. The 17th wide receiver taken in the 2021 draft has carried that chip, from waiting to hear his named called, on his shoulder from the start.
Amon-Ra St. Brown knows what the receivers drafted before him are doing
“It was a feeling that I hated, but I carry that with me throughout whenever I’m training,” St. Brown said. “Whenever I’m trying to take it easy or I feel good about myself or, ‘Oh, it’s just another set,’ all I gotta do is if anyone reminds me or if I even think of it, it’s go time. I’m going even harder. Those 16 receivers that went before me, I’ll never forget.”
“I keep track of these receivers, also. I see what they’re doing, check their stats and just keep pushing.”
So who are the “St. Brown 16”? That’s how Kyed referred to them, in similar fashion to the “Brady 6” (the quarterbacks taken before Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft).
Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Kadarius Toney, Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore, D’Wayne Eskridge, Tutu Atwell, Terrace Marshall, Josh Palmer, Dyami Brown, Amari Rodgers, Nico Collins, Anthony Schwartz and Dez Fitzpatrick.
It’s safe to say the Bengals (Chase), Dolphins (Waddle) and Eagles (Smith) have no regrets about their picks. The Giants (Toney), Ravens (Bateman), Jets (E. Moore) and Cardinals (R. Moore) saw some promise from their guys this year, and time will tell if they fulfill it all the way. But after that, those other teams surely envision how the Lions’ rookie stud would look in their uniform right now with serious regret.
And that’s how St. Brown wants it.