It's no secret how good Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been in his first two seasons, with the highest reception total in his draft class (196) over that span. Or at least it shouldn't a secret how good he is now.
St. Brown wants to expand his game to be more of a deep threat this year, But ultimately most of his production bread will be buttered how it has been--in shorter areas, as an efficient, high-volume target who can beats all kinds of coverage in all kinds of matchups.
"St. Brown had his true breakout performance last season in Detroit. He is one of just three receivers that ranked top 10 in receiving grade versus zone and man coverage. Primarily working from the slot, St. Brown posted a 90.7 PFF grade last season, joining an elite group of Hill, Jefferson and Adams as the only four receivers over a 90.0 PFF grade."- Pro Football Focus
Amon-Ra St. Brown also dominates man coverage
PFF is now out with their top-10 graded wide receivers from 2022 against man coverage. Here's what writer Braxton Howard had to say about St. Brown, who comes in No. 1 with a 90.8 grade to just edge out Ja'Marr Chase (90.7).
"St. Brown came in at No. 9 when we looked at performance against zone coverage, but when it came to facing man coverage, he was the top guy. St. Brown was a phenomenal underneath weapon working from the slot, as he had 25 first downs on one of the lowest average depth of target figures (6.9) of the qualified receivers.
St. Brown had a career year last season for Detroit, proving to be one of the league’s best slot receivers. He had an impressive 127.7 NFL passer rating when targeted against man coverage, which ranked inside the top 10. Not only did he rank top 10 in that area, but also with a 2.82 yards per route run; both of which were better numbers than what he posted when facing zone coverage."
St. Brown defied a low average depth of target, and a comparatively low 2.82 yards per route run, to be PFF's No. 1 receiver against man coverage. As good as his numbers were against zone, he was even better against single coverage last year.