Amon-Ra St. Brown had a strong rookie season overall, and he has landed in the upper tier in another deeper metric.
As we review the 2021 season and look ahead to the coming season, the strength of Amon-Ra St. Brown’s rookie season is being unveiled. Pro Football Focus graded him out as one of the top-10 red zone wide receivers last year, and now he has landed high in another metric elsewhere.
Football Outsiders revealed their passing plus-minus for 2021 recently, where Jared Goff came out a little ahead of Matthew Stafford. In close correlation to the quarterback numbers, they released their 2021 receiving plus-minus standings on Tuesday morning.
Cooper Kupp, as could have been expected, clearly led the league in receiving plus-minus last year (+17.3). Hunter Renfrow, Davante Adams, Christian Kirk and Tyler Lockett are the others north of +10.0, with Justin Jefferson (+9.7) and Chris Godwin (+9.6) close to that mark.
Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown stood out in another category last year
At No. 8 in Football Outsiders’ receiving plus-minus with a +8.6, among 91 qualfying wide receivers, is St. Brown. Check out who he was above.
8. Amon Ra St. Brown: +8.6
9. Tyreek Hill: +8.3
10. Mike Evans: +7.7
11. DeAndre Hopkins: +7.6
Target and catch rate numbers can vary depending on the source. But according to Football Outsiders’ data, St. Brown’s 78.3 percent catch rate was the fourth-best among the top-15 wide receivers in last-year’s receiving plus-minus.
Looking at other positions, Lions’ running back Jamaal Williams was the seventh-best running back in receiving plus-minus (+2.4) last year with a 92.9 percent catch rate (26 catches on 28 targets). And that was with him coming in near the bottom in Football Outsiders’ YAC+ (Yards After the Catch); with a -1.2 YAC+ that landed him 53rd among 57 qualified running backs. Taking any passing game reps away from D’Andre Swift is not advised, but Williams showed himself (as expected) to be a reliable target and he added a bit of deeper value as a receiver.
St. Brown’s surface numbers were, ultimately after a slow start, just fine as rookie. But his work is being appreciated by deeper metrics and grades, which is a good sign that what he did is broadly sustainable.
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