Can Amon-Ra St. Brown be Lions top receiver even if he isn’t ‘the best’?

SideLion Report

Amon-Ra St. Brown finished his rookie season on a strong run, but can he be the Lions top wide receiver while not being the proverbial “No. 1 guy?”

The Detroit Lions showed improvement late in Dan Campbell’s first season as head coach, with three wins in their final six games. The star of that run was rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was one of the most productive wide receivers in the league over those final six weeks (51 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns).

St. Brown became the Lions’ clear No. 1 target with D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson each missing at least four games down the stretch of the season. His late-season breakout might have come anyway, but a bigger target share greased the skids. Better play from quarterback Jared Goff was also helpful, and St. Brown maintained his high level of production when Tim Boyle had to start two games (Week 16 and 17) in Goff’s place.

St. Brown fell to the fourth round in last year’s draft due to not having what anyone could see as many outstanding physical traits coming out of USC. But he did have a theoretical opportunity in front of him when the Lions took him, and we would find out how motivated he was to prove those that passed on him wrong.

Will Amon-Ra St. Brown lose his place as Lions’ No. 1 wide receiver?

Via free agency or the draft, and quite possibly both, most expect the Lions to add a wide receiver of some note. With someone else for opposing secondaries to account for, and Hockenson and Swift back healthy next season, it’s possible (if not likely) St. Brown will have an easier time getting open.

From a pure talent standpoint, St. Brown may not be the best wide receiver on the Lions’ roster by the time the 2022 draft is over. But he could still be Detroit’s top target again next season, based on volume, raw production and having more intriguing offensive play calling all season.

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