Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown predicted to outperform first rounders

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is projected to be a top-five rookie pass-catcher in 2021.

The Detroit Lions entered the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the most wide receiver-needy teams in the NFL after seeing their top three at the position depart this past offseason.  The Lions lost Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones to free agency. In addition, veteran slot specialist, Danny Amendola, has also moved on.

It was not in newly appointed general manager Brad Holmes’ best interest to spend a plethora of money to retain the starting receivers as the organization entered the first year of what is expected to be a lengthy rebuild.

Before you roll your eyes again, don’t be deterred by the term lengthy rebuild. Again, I am not throwing shade on the organization; I understand this new regime has and will continue to tear this mutilated roster left behind by the previous regime.  Sure, there are respectable pieces throughout the roster, but compared to the competition, it seems Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia were building a unit to play in a different century.

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Detroit Lions rookie receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown predicted to perform like a first-round pick.

Many hoped the organization used their seventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a cream of the crop pass-catcher.  Instead, the franchise’s brain trust elected to select a building block to bolster their already above-average offensive line.

I do believe picking Penei Sewell was the correct decision.  After making that selection, knowing it had been a receiver-rich draft, Holmes and co. could have selected a first-round talent in rounds two or three.

Instead, the Detroit Lions didn’t pick a receiver until round four, but some suggest St. Brown will perform like a first-rounder during his rookie season.

Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports recently released a list predicting which rookie receivers will be the most productive in 2021.  St. Brown came in third behind Ja’Marr Chase and Elijah Moore.

If this proves to be true, the Detroit Lions are getting a bargain with St. Brown, who had been the 16th player at his position selected when Detroit picked him 112th overall.  I expected to see DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and Rashod Bateman ahead of St. Brown but was pleasantly surprised. Nevertheless, I’ve been optimistic and excited about St. Brown’s overall talent, and this piece by Chris only justifies my initial notion.

The USC product made 41 receptions totaling 478 yards totaling seven touchdowns this past season for the Trojans in just six games.  Over his three-year career, St. Brown amassed 2,270 receiving yards averaging 12.8 yards per catch totaling 16 touchdowns over 30 collegiate games.

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Detroit’s group of receivers is expected to be led by veterans Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman to start the year, with Quintez Cephus and St. Brown seeing their fair share of targets. However, I can certainly see a scenario where the two youngsters unseat the pair of veterans on the depth chart as the season grows old, which is positive for the organization.