This is a Green Bay Packers’ offense that was tops in the NFL last season in points per game as well as by DVOA. They’ll also be returning their top-3 receivers from 2020 in Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, as well as adding Devin Funchess to the mix, although admittedly, he is a bit of a wild card.
Yet when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback and you have the football mind of Matt LaFleur calling plays, it’s certainly never a bad idea to give them another weapon to utilize. On top of that, and perhaps more importantly, the Packers currently don’t have any receivers under contract beyond the 2021 season.
So while many were frustrated that Green Bay didn’t address the need in last year’s draft, I can assure you that won’t happen again. In fact, I’ll be surprised if they leave with just one.
While I’ve been quite vocal when it comes to expressing my doubts that the Green Bay Packers will address the receiver position in Round 1 as so many mock drafts are predicting, Rounds 2 and beyond are absolutely in play—and a name to know is USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown.
That last name probably sounds familiar because it is; he is the brother of current Packer receiver Equanimeous St. Brown.
The younger St. Brown was a highly productive three-year starter at USC, tallying 60 receptions for 750 yards during the 2018 season. In 2019, he hauled in 77 receptions for 1,042 yards. And in only six games this past year, St. Brown still managed 41 receptions for 478 yards.
Over his entire career, he was targeted a hefty 246 times, catching 72.4 percent of those passes at 12.8 yards per catch and with 16 touchdowns—including 13 in his final two years.
St. Brown is someone with ample experience both out wide and in the slot, and was effective as a pass-catcher in all parts of the field from behind the line of scrimmage to downfield and has displayed an impressive ability to make contested catches—although PFF’s draft guide ($) does note that when out wide, St. Brown did struggle to separate downfield.
With that said, these two aspects of St. Brown’s game — his ability to move around the formation and to attack all parts of the field — would make him a really nice fit in the LaFleur offense.
Athletically, St. Brown scored an 8.98 out of 10 on the Relative Athletic Scoring table (RAS) at his Pro-Day, faring particularly well in the 3-cone, vertical jump, and broad jump. He ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.51 seconds.
For a closer look at what St. Brown could bring to the Green Bay Packers offense, here is what Drae Harris of The Draft Network has to say about him in his pre-draft scouting report:
“He plays with very good overall athleticism, as evidenced by his body control and agility as a route-runner. His play embodies a blue-collar toughness and competitiveness rarely seen from a wide receiver. He is excellent in contested catch situations due to his competitiveness and big play ability. He excels between the numbers and is a threat in the short, intermediate, and deep passing game. He has excellent hand-eye coordination, which makes him efficient at catching targets.“
When it comes to St. Brown, depending on where you look, you’ll see a wide variety in his rating. PFF has him as their 104th overall prospect on their big board and the 14th rated receiver in this class. The Draft Network, however, is much higher on him, with an overall rating of 51 and listed as the ninth-best receiver.
Over at the NFL Mock Draft Database, they have St. Brown with a projected second-round landing spot based on the litany of mock drafts and big boards that they’ve compiled this offseason.
While most Green Bay Packers fans were disappointed that the team didn’t take a receiver last year, as I mentioned above that won’t be the case in 2021. And Amon-Ra St. Brown is someone who could certainly be on Brian Gutekunst’s radar given his college production, skill-set, and fit with this offense.