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2021 NFL Draft Player Profile: USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown

Amon-Ra St. Brown 2021 NFL Draft
Photo courtesy of the LA Times

The 2021 NFL Draft looks to be another exciting for the wide receiver position. From an early viewing, the 2021 wide receiver class looks incredibly deep with several big names at the top. With the 2020 receiver class boasting an intriguing cast of players, time will tell if this 2021 group can rival its predecessor.

Throughout the coming months, expect to hear names such as Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and Devonta Smith as the headliners of the class. Providing the 2020 college football season starts, many of these players could see big seasons. Plenty of the top-receivers are paired with some of the better college QBs that can effectively disseminate the football.

But to focus the receiver group down a bit, we turn to USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown. Coming from an athletic family, St. Brown looks to be one of the top names in the position group. So with that, here’s a 2021 NFL Draft player profile on this SoCal receiver.

Player Background

St. Brown comes from a family of athletes as previously mentioned. His father, John is a two-time Mr. Universe winner and a winner of three Mr. World Titles. Green Bay Packers fans may be familiar with his older brother Equanimous, who was drafted in 2018, while his other brother, Osiris, plays for USC’s PAC-12 rival Stanford.

According to 24/7 Sports St. Brown was a five-star recruit coming out of Mater Dei high school in Santa Ana, California. With offers from a number of different schools such as Georgia, Auburn, and Miami, St. Brown ultimately decided to stay local and sign his letter of intent to USC.

Appearing in twelve games while starting five in his freshman season, St. Brown led the team in receptions with 60 and had 750 receiving yards for his troubles. He was marked as the fourth USC true freshman to lead the team in receptions. The others on this list include Mike Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, and Robert Woods.

Starting in twelve games during his sophomore campaign, St. Brown finished 2019 with 77 receptions, 1042 yards, and six touchdowns. This solid statistic season earned St. Brown an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention nod and a Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second term mention.

Preliminary Evaluation

Despite St. Brown’s impressive statistical success, it’s important to see how his traits as a player translate into success on the field. During his time at USC, St. Brown has played with both Michael Pittman Jr and Tyler Vaughns, two very talented receivers in their own right. Pittman Jr, who is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts, was the featured receiver for the Trojans while Vaughns is your typical number two receiver. Surrounded by other hungry players, St. Brown had to stand in some way playing from the slot.

One of the various scouting boxes that must be checked is a player’s athletic ability on the field. In the case of a wide receiver, this can include his speed, his lateral agility, quickness, and explosiveness. As for speed, St. Brown has enough to properly can vertical separation and be an asset in the deep passing game. USC used this aspect in a number of different ways include implementing his skills into the screen game.

Coming out of his releases and breaks, St. Brown looks consistently smooth and explosive. While he’s not quite as dynamic post-catch as a Tyreek Hill or a Deebo Samuel, St. Brown still manages to create extra yards after the fact. Additionally St. Brown can struggle with his balance due to poor pad level, causing him to slip every so often on comebacks.

That said, the times where he ameliorates these issues, St. Brown’s route running looks smooth. St, Brown can run plenty of routes from his slot alignment such as crossers, hitches, posts, outs, and obviously verticals. Using quick foot movements, he can shimmy and leverage himself open. Not quite as aggressive with hands as others may like, he’ll still incorporate those little swats in his move set.

Preliminary Summary

Going into the 2020 college football season, St. Brown projects as one of the better receivers in the nation. With sophomore quarterback Kedon Slovis throwing him the ball again this season, St. Brown could be in for another big year in the PAC-12. Should he declare after this upcoming season, he could be an intriguing slot option for a number of different teams looking to round out their receiver corps. He needs to work on the little things such as a pad level and better blocking technique, but overall, St. Brown is a good prospect whose traits project well in the NFL.

 

 

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