When Amon-Ra St. Brown wasn’t torching the Commanders last Sunday, he was stealing glances at their sideline – looking for one player who was stuck there all game: fellow 2021 draftee Dyami Brown.
St. Brown, who can recite the names of the 16 receivers drafted before him, couldn’t help but notice that Brown barely got on the field. The UNC product was taken 30 picks – and five receivers – before St. Brown went 112th overall the Lions.
“Even the Commanders, they got a guy before me over there, believe his name is Dyami Brown,” St. Brown said Wednesday after being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. “I don’t know how many catches he had, you guys can probably tell me that, or how many yards he had, but I don’t forget things like that. I see him across the sideline from where I’m standing during the game, and I’m going to give every team hell.”
Asked if he was actually looking for Brown, St. Brown said, “I didn’t see him in the game much,” and smiled.
Brown played one offensive snap. St. Brown put up nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions' 36-27 win.
St. Brown’s draft slide has been his fuel since he arrived in Detroit last spring. Now he’s lighting the league on fire. Last week alone, St. Brown broke an NFL record with his sixth straight game of at least eight catches and a touchdown, tied an NFL record – set by Antonio Brown and Michael Thomas – with his eighth straight game of at least eight catches, and tied a franchise record – set by Herman Moore – with his sixth straight game with a touchdown.
He also took an end-around for 58 yards, because why not, and clocked the NFL’s sixth fastest sprint speed this season. But scouts said he wasn’t fast enough after he clocked a 4.51 40-yard-dash at the combine, 31st among receivers – and 11 spots behind Brown.
“Yeah, people love to look at the 40-yard dash and what not, but if you know ball, you know ball,” said St. Brown. “If a guy can play, he can play, and that’s what the scouts are here to do. Some scouts are better than others, some people evaluate talent better than others, but if you know how to play ball, you know how to play ball.”
The Lions and GM Brad Holmes evaluated St. Brown and saw something special. (They also passed on him with their first four picks.) Entering the 20th game of his career, he looks like the flat-out steal of his draft. St. Brown has more catches since Week 12 of last season than any NFL player not named Cooper Kupp.
Asked if he feels like he’s already one of the best in the business, St. Brown nodded and said, “I feel that way.”
He’s also just getting started.
“I’m looking to do much more than just Player of the Week,” he said. “That’s just a week. I’m looking to do a lot more this season, as a team, individually. We got a lot of games left.”
St. Brown is more than just a natural talent. He's a perfectionist who catches 202 balls on the JUGS machine after every practice. He's a crisp route runner who Jared Goff calls a “friendly” target. He's a fierce competitor who loves to block in the run game, a star who prides himself on his consistency. The records are just the result, and the receipts remain his fuel.
So, as the Lions prepare to play Minnesota on Sunday, did the Vikings draft any receivers before St. Brown?
“They didn’t, no,” he said. “But they didn’t draft me, either. I know they had some picks in there.”