If Amon-Ra St. Brown's surface production over his first two seasons isn't enough, deeper metrics also show plenty about how good the Lions' No. 1 wide receiver is. His importance to the offense, and to the team as a whole as a tone-setter and a work ethic example to follow, cannot be overstated.
St. Brown is lined up for another big season, with possible expansion of his repertoire and some better fortune in a pretty big area. Any injury-forced absence by him for a notable length would be a massive blow to the high hopes the Lions have for this season.
Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com, using a formula similar to Wins Above Replacement in baseball or Real Plus-Minus in basketball, has created a metric called Win Shares. She recently revealed her projected Win Share leaders for 2023, split into three categories--quarterbacks, non-quarterbacks and defensive players, with the top five in each category highlighted in the piece.
Amon-Ra St. Brown gets lofty place in another advanced metric
There aren't too many surprises in any of the three quarterbacks. Justin Jefferson, Nick Chubb, Travis Kelce and Derrick Henry are the first four in the non-quarterback category. St. Brown rounds out the top-five, edging out Davante Adams by less than 0.01 (per Frelund).
"WIN SHARE: 2.25- Cynthia Frelund, NFL.com
As a native Michigander and Lions fan, I know Amon-Ra’s a stud, but I’m not going to lie: This ranking was a pleasant surprise! According to computer vision, St. Brown ranked third among all receivers last season when it came to gaining separation out of the slot (where he primarily lined up).
Admittedly, this ranking is partially driven by the absence of Jameson Williams over the first six games, which will increase Detroit's reliance on St. Brown. That said, he also carries a bunch of off-ball value, especially on Detroit team that is likely to routinely target a pair of rookies in the passing game (RB Jahmyr Gibbs and TE Sam LaPorta)."
This is just another reflection of St. Brown's value and importance to the Lions, if another was needed as a reinforcement.