Receiver Lions should've drafted channels Amon-Ra St. Brown after draft fall

A wide receiver the Detroit Lions probably should have drafted has immediately channeled Amon-Ra St. Brown after his own draft tumble.
Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY

After falling to the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the chip on the shoulder of Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is large. As in, the 16 wide receivers who were drafted before him and he keeps tabs on. He has also vastly outproduced most of them over the last three seasons.

The Lions lost Josh Reynolds in free agency, as expected, and they have not added another veteran receiver as the calendar has flipped to May. Some eyes were on the draft for them to take a wide receiver with a certain skill profile, and they didn't do so.

On the draft front, UCF wide receiver Javon Baker was an interesting idea for the Lions. He started his college career at Alabama in 2020, but he was buried on the depth chart for two seasons and transferred. He had a breakthrough campaign at UCF in 2022, with 56 catches for 796 yards and five touchdowns.

Then Baker was even better last season, with the Knights' step up in competition to the Big 12, finishing with 52 receptions for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns. His 21.9 yards per catch average last year led FBS players with at least 50 catches.

Pro Football Focus was especially high on Baker's work against single coverage.

Javon Baker immediately channels Amon-Ra St. Brown after draft fall

Baker was drafted 110th overall (fourth round) by the New England Patriots. He was the 18th wide receiver selected, and the second wide receiver the Patriots took for that matter (Ja'Lynn Polk at No, 37 overall). In a video he posted on social media, he's not thrilled about it.

"No way in f***ng America 10 receivers better than me. You’re out of your fucking mind,” Baker said.

No word on if Baker will memorize the names of the wide receivers who were drafted before him, and keep tabs on them like St. Brown does. But he looks like an ideal skill set complement to St. Brown and Jameson Williams to fill out the Lions' wide receiving corps.

The Lions ultimately didn't seem to have a realistic opportunity to draft Baker, which may go down as a missed opportunity if he channels the motivation from his draft fall like St. Brown has.

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