Lions Rookie Projected for ‘Surprise’ NFL Impact During 2021

Amon-Ra St. Brown

Getty Amon-Ra St. Brown makes a catch in traffic against Cal.

The Detroit Lions waited to select a wideout during the 2021 NFL Draft, but that patience could end up paying off in a big way come next season.

When the team tapped Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth-round, that move may have meant the team managed to grab one of the best players on the draft board that could prove to be a steal in the end.

Recently, Bleacher Report took a look at picking out some surprise impact rookies, and St. Brown cracked the list for the Lions thanks to his ability to work the slot.

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Writer Chris Roling thinks that St. Brown is charting well to make a major impact for the Lions on day one.

As for why, he wrote:

“Like other positions, Amon-Ra St. Brown is hardly the first name to come to mind when thinking of 2021 wideouts in a class led by Ja’Marr Chase.

But St. Brown’s landing spot with the Detroit Lions at No. 112 will give him a big chance to shine.

Detroit knew exactly what it was doing when selecting St. Brown. Breshad Perriman and Tyrell Williams already project as the outside boundary players in the offense and the rookie projects best as an inside slot man, where he spent plenty of time in college.

Along the way, St. Brown tallied 2,270 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 12.8 yards per catch. He’s a surehanded, quick-footed inside guy who can shake loose of coverages and provide a safety blanket for Jared Goff.

While it’s not as flashy as some of the other prospects at the position, St. Brown’s impact right away could be hard to ignore.”

Additionally, a big reason for the potential success of St. Brown has to do with the team he’s going to. The Lions will have no shortage of snaps to offer, and the possibility of St. Brown to come in and dominate would seem to be great right off the bat.

If the Lions could get this kind of impact from their young player quickly, it would be a big deal.

Clay Helton Believes St. Brown Heading for ‘Unbelievable’ Career

Most know that St. Brown comes from a good family that has athletics and football coursing through their blood. What kind of a player is St. Brown on the field, though, and what can he bring to Detroit’s locker room? There’s no better source to explain that than former USC head coach Clay Helton.

Recently, Helton joined NFL Network and was asked about what St. Brown can do for the Lions. As he said, it’s about more than just the quality football that St. Brown will provide.

Helton explains:

“He’s an offensive player who plays with a defensive mentality, which I love. He’s another versatile player. He can literally play every position in that receiver room. Extreme football intelligence and (he’s) instinctive. His competitiveness shines through. One of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around in my 26 year college career. He was just a joy to work with the day he stepped foot on campus. He was just a grown man. Another kid who is perfect for your culture. If you’re looking for toughness, if you’re looking for work ethic, if you’re looking for that blue collar mentality each and every day with great leadership capabilities, that’s Amon-Ra St. Brown. Another reason he was a team captain for us and a guy who I think is going to do some unbelievable things at the next level.”

St. Brown being a quality player as well as a quality citizen will be huge for a Lions team looking to put their own imprint on the culture of the franchise. Getting their rookie class to come in and be the foundation was clearly a huge goal for the Lions, and this will be the case with St. Brown and others in a big way.

What St. Brown Can Bring to Lions

Detroit needs to find a star that can emerge at the wideout spot, and it’s neat to think that a fourth-round pick could be the next up in terms of being a star. During the first weekend of rookie camp, the Lions wideout was impressive in terms of his ability to make catches in traffic and run solid routes. Those are just the skills he is going to need in Detroit when he gets into the mix and into the fold within the offense. It seems his ability level would serve him well in the slot, but it’s clear that there is no specific archetype for what St. Brown could do when he gets to Detroit.

Wherever he plays, the bet could be for St. Brown to be a significant contributor.

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