It’s really too obvious, but Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has been given a title he deserves looking back at the 2021 NFL Draft.
Through his first two NFL seasons, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is in some select company. Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr. are the only others in league history to have had at least 90 receptions in each of their first two seasons, and his 100-catch campaign last season was the sixth in Lions’ franchise history.
It’s well known at this point that St. Brown was a fourth-round pick, the 17th wide receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft and how those things motivate him. He is already in the books as a draft steal, practically no matter where his career goes from here. But we know he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown given obvious title in 2021 NFL Draft review
David Kenyon of Bleacher Report went through the last 10 NFL drafts to find the biggest steal in each–with the line drawn at being taken in the fourth round or later. For 2021, even with Kenyon’s mention of Chiefs guard Trey Smith, the choice was too obvious.
Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Trey Smith, a sixth-round selection, deserves a nod. He’s a two-year starter at right guard and helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl last season.
But we can’t not choose Amon-Ra St. Brown.
On a bad Detroit Lions team in 2021, he still gathered 973 yards from scrimmage and totaled six touchdowns. Last year, the USC product stood out as Detroit’s only reliable receiver and pulled in 106 passes for 1,161 yards and six more scores.
Several factors aided the Lions’ rise to respectability and a near-playoff bid in 2022, but St. Brown’s impact was inarguable.
As the Lions improved from 2021 to 2022 and have a bright future, St. Brown is a large symbol (if not the largest symbol) of how well they’ve drafted with how he’s been so productive so quickly. He is also a symbol of the intangibles the Lions clearly value. That latter part is best shown by his keeping tabs on the wide receivers who were drafted before him, and the motivational chip that has put on his shoulder.