Amon-Ra St. Brown has a terrific rookie season, but ESPN has credited him with the most catches in the league without a drop last season.
After a slow start to his rookie season, Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL down the stretch in 2021 (51 catches for 560 yards and five touchdowns over the final six games).
St. Brown’s 75.6 percent catch rate last year was quite good (90 catches on 119 targets in total). Over his productive closing stretch, with Tim Boyle starting two of those games, 16 of St. Brown’s targets hit the ground.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, St. Brown had the most catches in the NFL last year without a drop. And by a good margin at that.
Did Amon-Ra St. Brown really have zero drops last year?
Drops are a pretty subjective stat, and can vary depending on the source and even the person doing the proverbial judging. Indeed, Pro Football Reference gave St. Brown one drop last year. As Jeff Risdon of The Lions Wire pointed to, Pro Football Focus gave St. Brown two drops, in the same game. Risdon dove into that film.
"I went back and rewatched the Week 2 game. It was easy to ascertain which passes PFF credited as drops since St. Brown caught three of his five targets in Green Bay. The first “drop”, right before halftime, did hit St. Brown in his hands along the sideline, but it appears the defensive back made a play on the ball just before St. Brown did. The second, with just over 2:00 to play in the game, was not an accurate pass from Jared Goff."
So it’s easy to think the two drops PFF gave St. Brown were not even drops, landing him at zero drops in reality (or upon ESPN’s review as well). Based on Risdon’s description, the first drop in Week 2 might be the one Pro Football Reference gave him.
As a team the Lions didn’t drop many passes last year, and even that exact number varies a bit depending on the source. But St. Brown has another good mark on his rookie season in retrospect, be it zero, one or two dropped passes on 119 targets.