A new metric says Amon-Ra St. Brown was the best wide receiver in NFL last season
By a newly found and created advanced metric, Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was only the best wide receiver in the league last season.
The story of Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has become well-worn by now. The 17th wide receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, and as we know he can name all 16 taken before him, he has clearly outdone most of his draft classmates and put himself in some select company two years into his career.
St. Brown has a place somewhere among the best wide receivers in the NFL right now, probably top 10-12 for most people in a raw or fantasy football sense.
Over his two seasons, per Pro Football Reference, he has been credited (or is demerited the better word?) with five drops on 265 targets and four of them were last season (a 1.8 percent drop rate overall for 2021-2022). Of his 196 career receptions, 116 have gone for first downs.
Lions’ quarterbacks, mostly Jared Goff of course, have posted passer ratings of 104.0 (2021) and 106.6 (2022) when throwing St. Brown’s direction.
New metric has Amon-Ra St. Brown as the best wide receiver in the NFL last season
Nate Tice of The Athletic was dabbling on Tru Media Sports, and he landed on a new stat to measure pass catcher success.
After you click on the photo in the tweet, you can see that St. Brown sits atop the list at 18.0 percent in “successful plays/targets per route run” last season. Tyreek Hill is close behind him at 17.6 percent, then’s a drop to 16.6 percent (Stefon Diggs) with one other (Cooper Kupp, 16 percent) at 16 percent or higher.
Tice noted that average for players with 50 or more targets last season was 10.2 percent, a threshold now-former Lions running back D’Andre Swift also surpassed (70 targets, 11.4 percent).
Among players with 150 or more targets since 2020, St. Brown is tied for second with Kupp (16.1 percent) in this metric, trailing only Davante Adams (17.1 percent).
Based on surface and deeper stats, St. Brown belongs among the best wide receivers in the NFL. This is just more proof, via what appears to be practically an accidental find by Tice.