Receivers with Rhineland roots surprise the NFL

Last Thursday, Amon-Ra St. Brown caught the 200th pass of his young NFL career in the game against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City. This means he outperforms many wide receivers who were drafted with him in the same year. For the former German U19 national player, who regularly spent his holidays in Düsseldorf as a student, this is no unimportant fact.

On Sunday, “Saint,” as his head coach Dan Campbell calls him, will face the Seattle Seahawks. The game will be broadcast on RTL from 7 p.m. Then on the other hand, Dee Eskridge won’t even be on the bench. Eskridge was drafted well ahead of Amon-Ra in the second round in 2021. He is one of 16 receivers that the wideout with Rhineland roots wants to outdo.

After the draft, St. Brown made a list. It listed all the pass receivers who were drafted before him. Because the shame of only being selected in the fourth round affects his game and his hard training to this day. It really motivates him to achieve new top performances every week.

When he goes through the list today, Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown will be mighty proud. Not a single player selected before him had achieved 200 receptions in his career up to this point. Not even the otherwise much praised Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith managed to do that.

NFL Draft 2021

But why was he chosen so much later than everyone else before him? Why didn’t NFL scouts want to recognize his true talent? Basically, this is relatively easy to answer when you look at his college career. He played for the USC Trojans from 2018 to 2020.

During this time, the small and agile receiver often played in the shadow of Michael Pittman Jr., who now plays in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts. First with quarterback JT Daniels, later with Kedon Slovis, he should build good chemistry. But Pittman always remained number one.

When he finally moved to the NFL and Amon-Ra was supposed to get the bear’s share in the receiving corps, Corona put a stop to his plans. While Chase, Waddle and Smith were allowed to play practically an entire season in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Pac-12 on the West Coast was initially in lockdown for a long period of time. St. Brown was only able to demonstrate his skills again for six games.

But that’s not enough. When the NFL Combine was finally allowed to take place again, only a limited number of team officials were allowed on site in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough interviews and personal conversations where NFL teams could have determined how positive Amon-Ra is.

That’s why Insider wasn’t surprised that Amon-Ra St. Brown wasn’t drafted until the third day of the 2023 NFL Draft. At the same time, the draft analysts confirmed that the Detroit Lions had landed a steal in the USC receiver.

Amon-Ra St. Brown in the NFL

And they were all spot on. Amon-Ra St. Brown gets going straight away and celebrates his breakthrough unusually early for a rookie. In Week 4, he caught six passes for 70 yards against the Chicago Bears. At the end of the season he had two games with over 100 yards on the scoreboard.

Many expect the next highlight for his second year. Amon-Ra will not disappoint them. Preferably deployed in the slot, the fearless receiver runs primarily across the middle of the field. He takes hard hits from the heavy linebackers, but they are rarely a match for his agility and speed. With this style of play, he achieved his first season with over 1,000 yards and was invited to the Pro Bowl.

The next milestone is now to follow. Amon-Ra St. Brown motivates herself to take on ever greater challenges. After outshining his year and breaking the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time, he is now setting his sights on goals for his team.

As a leader, he was named one of six team captains before the season. He leads the young receiving corps of the Lions from the “Motor City” onto the field week after week and, after defeating the reigning champions on the first day of the game, wants to lay the foundation for their first playoff win since 1991.

As soon as this is successful and Detroit advances one round, it should be clear what the German wide receiver’s next goal is.

Philip Forstner