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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC

USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has shown in college that he's versatile enough to fit in the slot or on the perimeter, and he can return punts. But where is his best fit in the NFL?

WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN 

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Class: Junior
School: USC


A five-star recruit out of Anaheim, California, where he was the first ranked Californian and the 11th ranked recruit in the 2018 cycle. He was also the 211th all-time recruit, according to 247 Sports. St. Brown had more than 25 scholarship offers and was pursued by the nation’s top programs. He was a high school All-American, according to USA Today and Max Preps. He earned a spot on the First Team All-Pac 12 in 2020.

St. Brown attended USC and had an immediate impact in his freshman season, where he caught 60 passes for 750 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He had a very productive sophomore year as well, before catching seven touchdowns in 6 2020 games. He finished his time at USC with 178 catches for 2270 yards and 16 touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown.

He took the majority of snaps in the slot throughout his time at USC. However, in 2020, he lined up more on the outside (116 slot snaps, 293 wide snaps). The two way go at the line of scrimmage, and being off the line of scrimmage does seem to help St. Brown. Figures to be more of a slot receiver at the next level.

Notables

Amon-Ra St. Brown’s older brother, Eqaunmeous, is a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. Younger brother, Osiris, is a wide receiver for the Stanford Cardinal, and his father was a professional bodybuilder in the 1980s. Amon-Ra Attended high school powerhouse Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California.

Traits

He isn’t overly big and has a lean frame with thin limbs. Solid athlete for the position; he doesn’t win with pure speed or burst, but moves well laterally, has good agility, and his hips are good in and out of breaks. Good stance on the line of scrimmage and showed the ability to play inside and outside, but may be more of a slot in the NFL.

May struggle to beat press coverage at the next level - play strength is adequate in this area. He has different releases that he can win with--he fires his feet well and can chew grass in off-coverage (which is what he saw more often than not).

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Only saw press coverage 148 times in college (per PFF). St. Brown isn’t very twitchy, but he’s technically sound as a route runner. He has a smoothness in and out of his breaks and up the stem.

He ran a full route tree and was effective at all areas of the field. He’s quick to sink his hips and get in and out of breaks - good short-area quickness. Very precise with his route running and did well creating leverage against college defensive backs up the stem.

He used varying tempo to either lull DBs to sleep or catch them off guard. He took advantage of slot corners on the deep middle of the field open (MOFO) type of plays. He ran a quality post route and created separation well with foot speed, route running, and a disguised route break up the initial stem.

Did a quality job coming back to the football and bailing his quarterbacks out of tough situations. Had good hands but was susceptible to simple concentration drops (4 drops in 2020). Ironically enough, his hand-eye coordination is exceptional, especially down the field.

Uses great tracking ability, body/adjust, and control at the catch point to leap, high point, and secure tough passes - even did it near the sideline in tight coverage several times on comeback and seven routes.

Adjustment to passes may be his best trait--he has enough lower body explosiveness to leap over DBs who are comparable in size. He did well in the 50-50 situations and won downfield more with that trait than just pure speed or athletic ability. 

He is a willing blocker who brings solid play strength to that area of play. In his 2019 tape, he seemed to have a hitch off the line of scrimmage with his back-foot that appeared to be an unnecessary movement; not the biggest deal, but something that can be corrected, and wasn’t as evident in his 2020 film.

Overall, Amon-Ra St. Brown can be a quality slot receiver who has enough athletic traits, football intelligence, and route running savvy to have an impact in the NFL. 

He doesn’t have his brother's size and may not be as fast or explosive, but he’s much more refined and technically sound. Some have him in the first two rounds, I may put him a bit after that, but there’s undoubtedly a place in the league for a player with St. Brown’s skill-set. 


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