How High Is the Ceiling For Amon-Ra St. Brown?

Photo Credit: Raj Mehta (USA TODAY Sports)

A month ago, the Detroit Lions were winless. They needed a victory, but they also needed to find out what they had in some of their young players. Fast forward a month later, and the Lions are riding high, having won two of their last three games and discovered an absolute gem in rookie wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. So, how high is this exciting rookie’s ceiling?

After expectations of Tyrell Williams being the go-to guy never manifested due to injury, Detroit’s wide receiver corps limped into the regular season. Quintez Cephus suffered a season-ending injury as well. Logically, it made sense to expect Detroit to start feeding the rookie out of USC to see what they had with him. Through November, it never quite came. In the last three weeks, he’s been in demon mode.

Before the last three games, the most action St. Brown had seen in a game in his rookie campaign came on Oct. 10 against the Minnesota Vikings. He had seven receptions on eight targets for 65 yards in a loss to Minnesota. Those numbers pale in comparison to what he’s done lately.

Three weeks ago against the Vikings, St. Brown had 10 receptions on 12 targets and had the game-sealing touchdown as time expired to beat the Vikings and notch the first win of the year for Detroit.

Jared Goff had the confidence to go to the rookie on the final play, and the sure-handed St. Brown made the play of the game. The celebration was on. There was no hangover effect. St. Brown saw a dozen more targets the following week and hauled in eight of them for 73 yards against a stingy Denver Broncos defense. It was much of the same in Sunday’s win against the Arizona Cardinals in what has become the norm for St. Brown.

In Detroit’s wild upset, St. Brown got rolling early and finished with eight receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown on a team-leading 11 targets. Goff has taken notice of how great St. Brown has been.

“He’s a stud,” Goff said. “He’s a stud. I’ll say it again, he’s a stud. He’s a stud. We’ve known it since training camp.

“Finally getting him involved quite a bit now. I thought the route on the touchdown was just so perfect. It’s such a unique route that only some guys can run, and you have to have a good feel for the space and the game. He has all of that. He’s really starting to pick it up and understand coverage, and understand where the holes are, and it’s really fun to play with him.”

It all leads back to the same question: What’s the ceiling for Amon-Ra St. Brown?

He’s still just a rookie, and there are plenty more layers of his game to peel back, but Detroit’s expectations of St. Brown should have a floor of a No. 2 wideout. The fourth-round selection out of USC has blossomed in a mostly atrocious offense and out of sync. There is one obvious correlation: When the Lions have success on offense, St. Brown also has a big game.

This rebuild will take time, but they now have a young piece at wide receiver to build around. What makes this even sweeter for the Lions is they’ve been able to force-feed the rookie and also win two of their last three games. Happy times can exist in Detroit — Lions fans know they have a stud at wideout for years to come.

Per and Tim Twentyman, Sunday was a record-breaker for St. Brown.

Amon-Ra St. Brown now owns the record for the most receptions in a season by a Lions rookie (65). The previous record belonged to running back Jahvid Best, who had 58 in 2010. St. Brown is the first Lions rookie to record at least eight receptions in three straight games.

To say Amon-Ra St. Brown has stumbled into unchartered territory would be a massive understatement. Jahvid Best, the previous record holder for receptions by a Lions rookie, was a running back. St. Brown being the first rookie to post eight catches in three-straight games is both awesome for him and a devastating truth about Detroit’s franchise history.

The Lions and their fanbase have been starving for a legitimate young wide receiver for quite some time now. St. Brown didn’t get the looks or the quantity of targets earlier in the season. But as things have turned around for the Lions, so have they for the rookie. His ceiling could be a future No. 1 wideout. The floor should be no lower than a No. 2 on the depth chart.

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