Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR USC
6'1" 194lbs (BMI 25.59)
Breakout Age: 18.11
College Dominator Rating: 33.07%
Comp: Calvin Ridley / Terry McLaurin hybrid
Amon-Ra St. Brown officially declared for the NFL draft on January 2nd. It was expected he would do so, even in this stacked 2021 WR class. St. Brown has definitely caught some attention lately, but just how good is he? Does he have potential to be a star at the next level? I think so. I just moved him to my WR 4 in the 2021 class. One spot ahead of DeVonta Smith! Let's get into why I made that move!
As a true freshman, St. Brown quickly became a major part of the USC offense. He finished his freshman season with 60 receptions (1st), 750 yards (2nd) and 3 touchdowns (3rd). He barely got out produced by then junior receiver Michael Pittman Jr. That would be good enough for a 20.88% college dominator rating in his true freshman season. That would make his breakout age 18.11. Love to see it when a receiver has a breakout age that early! Even with Pittman returning for his senior season, St. Brown made a jump in his second season with the team with 77 receptions (2nd), 1,042 yards (2nd) and 6 touchdowns (tied 2nd). He would post a similar college dominator rating in his sophomore season at 20.51%.
With Michael Pittman Jr. now in the NFL, it was time for St. Brown to shine as the teams #1 receiver in his junior season. Due to Covid-19, USC would only play 6 games this year. Through those 6 games, St. Brown had 41 receptions (1st), 478 yards (2nd) and 7 touchdowns (1st). That would make his final season’s college dominator rating 33.07%. 30% is a great number to hit. He checks a lot of the boxes you want in analytics (breakout age, 33.07% CDR, early declare) and on top of that, his film is great too. He could be a star at the next level.
While watching film/highlights for this article, I was trying my best not to get too excited about his play. I gathered some of my favorite plays by him that demonstrate several abilities that should translate just fine to the next level.
Before we dive into that, I want to show a clip that made me love St. Brown even more. Check out below how he is not afraid to be physical and how he dominated the cornerback on this play. I love the physicality and mentality here.
St. Brown has great ball skills. I love receivers that have the ability to locate, high point, and make proper body adjustments to ensure the catch. He does all of that. There are so many instances in these clips that St. Brown goes deep and is able to make the catch, even with defenders all over him. I've noticed that when he is going up for the ball, he is not afraid to be physical or get hit. He has the awareness and body control to put himself in the correct position to make the catch. In several of the clips he comes back to the ball or even lunges forward for it. So impressive to watch him attack the ball.
You can tell USC trusts him at the goal line too. He won a few jump balls over the defensive back by knowing when to go for the ball. He can be dangerous at the goal line because he can run the fade route or use his release and his burst to run the slant route. Check out the clip below where he plants his foot and gets open quickly for the easy touchdown. He doesn't dance around too much and I love his release here.
My comp for St. Brown would be some kind of Calvin Ridley and Terry McLaurin hybrid. He is slightly bigger than Ridley, but plays very similarly to him and McLaurin. I can just tell he's a baller. I wouldn't rule out St. Brown having an impact similar to these two guys at the next level, especially if given the right situation. One similarity I noticed too was that they all had somewhat of a poor pass route grade given to them from PFF. In their last collegiate seasons, they were rated in the mid to low 70's (Calvin Ridley 77.9, Amon-Ra St. Brown 73.1, and Terry McLaurin 72.3). Surely that didn't stop Ridley and McLaurin from producing in the NFL so I don't foresee that being an issue for St. Brown either.