Rookie Rundown: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

Rookie Rundown: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

Fantasy Football Rookie Analysis

Rookie Rundown: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

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Former USC Trojans wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown heads to the NFL after 29 games of action and respectable results to show for his time with the program.

Son of John Brown, — no, not that John Brown — a repeat world-champion bodybuilder, the 21-year-old prospect is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers wideout Equanimeous St. Brown.

Height: 5-foot-11 1/2
Weight: 197 pounds
40 time: 4.51 seconds

The junior receiver decided to bypass another year at Southern Cal to enter the 2021 NFL Draft, where he’s expected to be a Day 3 pick with a chance for being chosen in the third round.

At USC, St. Brown immediately made a name for himself, corralling 60 passes for 750 yards and a trio of touchdowns as a true freshman. He’d earn an honorable mention for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and St. Brown garnered another honorable mention in 2019 for All-Pac-12.

Table: Amon-Ra St. Brown NCAA stats (2018-20)

Year
School
Class
Gm*
Receiving
Rushing
Rec
Yds
Avg
TD
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
2018
USC
FR
11
60
750
12.5
3
2
9
4.5
0
2019
USC
SO
13
77
1,042
13.5
6
7
60
8.6
1
2020
USC
JR
6
41
478
11.7
7
0
0
0
Career
178
2,270
12.8
16
9
69
7.7
1

*includes postseason/bowl games

Only six games were played by the school, due to COVID-19 restrictions, in 2020, and St. Brown made the most of it. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 after the abbreviated season.

Pros

  • Fierce, tenacious attitude
  • Fearless over the middle
  • NFL bloodlines and an extraordinarily athletic background — one brother in the NFL, father was a world-class bodybuilder, and has another brother enrolled in Stanford’s football program
  • Highly disciplined and intelligent — speaks three languages
  • Gym rat with a chiseled frame
  • Consistent and productive
  • Functional speed to get deep
  • Dynamic range of release techniques to beat multiple coverages
  • Above-average footwork in and out of breaks — demonstrates understanding of using momentum against a defensive back through body lean and timing
  • Body control and balance are among his best traits
  • Natural catcher, especially of over-the-shoulder deep patterns
  • Slippery after making the grab
  • Adept at repositioning and coming back for underthrown passes
  • Contests in 50/50 balls with bigger defenders
  • Some experience in the return game on special teams
  • Team captain in 2020
  • Aggressive blocker

Cons

  • Lacks breakaway speed
  • Could be isolated into playing from the slot
  • A picky NFL coaching staff may get after him about rounding some breaks — seems to be a product of trying to read the defender more than a lack of focus
  • Longer cornerbacks could give him problems in the NFL
  • Capped ceiling for NFL upside — probably won’t be the WR1 in many situations, or at least not if things are going well
  • Needs to focus on fundamentals as a blocker

Fantasy football outlook

An all-around prospect, ready to contribute early, St. Brown is more NFL-ready than his brother was coming out of college a few seasons ago. The expected draft range for the younger St. Brown is so broad that it is close to a guessing game to forecast his eventual NFL home.

Several teams need receivers more than most — the usual suspects, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Baltimore and New Orleans stand out. Other franchises that could show interest: Las Vegas, Jacksonville, San Francisco, the New York Giants and Jets, as well as Washington, New England, Atlanta, Carolina and Cincinnati.

St. Brown profiles similarly to elements of Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor, Keelan Cole and Antonio Brown. As a rookie, his fantasy expectations should be kept to a minimum, but he has the chops to contribute rather than red-shirt. He’s likely to enter the league in position to be depth material for an NFL club, which is usually a recipe for living on the fantasy football waiver wire.

As often seen with rookie receivers, the long-term outlook is more appealing, and one doesn’t have to look far to find strong supporters of St. Brown as being a sleeper of sorts at the next level. He has infinitely more value in full-retention keeper/dynasty formats than 2021 redraft leagues. He has potential for WR2 utilization on a regular basis.

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