To this day, the 16 names he heard before his own at the draft still serve as motivation to excel. He wowed the Hard Knocks crew last offseason when he rattled each of the names off from memory but it’s no surprise considering he recites them daily before practice.
“I actually still think about it,” St. Brown admitted on NFL Total Access with Mike Yam. “I actually have my goals written down in my notebook. What I want to achieve every year. So, what I want to achieve this year going into the season, my personal goals, and then right below that I have the 16 receivers written down, where they went to college right below that.
“And so, I read that whole list three times before I go to practice every day. It’s something I’ll never forget. Something I make sure I’m always reminded of.”
To refresh your memory, these were the wide receivers picked before St. Brown in 2021: Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, Kadarius Toney, Rashod Bateman, Elijah Moore, Rondale Moore, D’Wayne Eskridge, Tutu Atwell, Terrace Marshall Jr., Josh Palmer, Dyami Brown, Amari Rodgers, Nico Collins, Anthony Schwartz and Dez Fitzpatrick.
Amon-Ra St. Brown shines for Detroit
So far, the Lions star’s methods are working for him. Through his first two seasons, he is tied with Justin Jefferson and Michael Thomas in total receptions.
In 2022, St. Brown finished fifth amongst receivers in receptions with 106. He was also 10th in receiving yards (1,161). He became just the third player under 23 to score a touchdown in at least six consecutive games – the other two being Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski. As a rookie in 2021, he had 90 receptions for 912 yards and five touchdowns.
The Lions are getting a great deal on St. Brown given his draft position. He’s the team’s leading receiver and he’s on a four-year deal worth just $4.26 million. He is headed toward a big payday next offseason if he keeps up his production.
Why did St. Brown fall to the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft? Although he had 1,042 receiving yards in his second year at USC, he only had 41 receptions for 478 during the 2020 season that was impacted by COVID-19. He still earned first team All-Pac-12 honors after bringing in a team-leading seven touchdown catches.
His best season with USC came in 2019–when he brought in 77 catches for 1,042 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers landed him on the 2019 honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors. For his entire career there, he finished with 178 catches for 2,270 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns.
No. 6 USC takes on Stanford on Saturday night. Kickoff for that one is slated for 10:30 PM EST on FOX.
On3’s Nikki Chavanelle also contributed to this article.