Editor’s Note: To help you dominate your rookie drafts, this series will feature a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of over 40 dynasty rookie draft prospects and run all through the month of May and even into June. We’ll cover all the premier prospects but also give you critical information on some of the lesser known talents. All of these rookie updates will be loaded into our ever-evolving 2018 Rookie Draft Guide – the ultimate resource for dynasty enthusiasts all over the world.
Name: Equanimeous St. Brown
Born: September 30, 1996
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Green Bay Packers
College Team: Notre Dame
Draft Status: Round six, 207th overall
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- Height: 6’ 5”
- Weight: 214
- Hand Size: 9 ¾”
- Arms: 33”
- 40 Time: 4.48
- Bench Press: 20
- Vertical Jump: 34 ½” (pro day)
- Broad Jump: N/A
- Short Shuttle: N/A
- Three Cone Drill: N/A
- Huge catch radius
- Effortless glider with excellent top-end speed
- Good agility for his size
- Loose hips help him get in and out of cuts quickly
- Navigates traffic extremely well
- Wins at the catch point with hops, catch radius, and aggressiveness
- Creates separation in routes despite route running deficiencies
- Ready to be a major red-zone contributor on day one
- Does not shy away from contact
- Stronger than his height/weight combination suggests
- Lacks explosiveness
- Struggles against physical corners
- Ability to separate with physical skills alone has lead to laziness in/lack of development of route running technique
- Occasionally inconsistent effort
- Didn’t noticeably improve last season after 2016’s breakout
- Inconsistent hands, in part due to too many body catches
- His name is as difficult to spell as it is to pronounce
After entrenched starters Davante Adams and Randall Cobb, the Packers have a who’s who of receivers casual fans have never heard of. At the top of that list is Geronimo Allison, who is the leader in the clubhouse for the third receiver role. While he is a pedestrian talent with a mere 35 receptions across two seasons as a pro, 12 of those catches came in the final four games of the 2017 season, which could be a hint that he will open the season across from Adams, bracketing Cobb on the inside.
After Allison, the depth chart is as open as my mouth at Baskin Robbins. There is a ton of competition for those last three roster spots, but St. Brown is talented enough to not only seize one of them, but push Allison from the get-go. If he can’t, his “opportunity” may have to come on special teams.
The Packers have as many as six first or second-year receivers with a shot at making the team behind Adams, Cobb, and Allison. The hold-overs are a motley crew that includes a former UDFA and two fifth-round fliers called Trevor Davis, DeAngelo Yancey, and Michael Clark. They haven’t contributed much, with only a combined nine receptions and one arrest for making a bomb joke while going through TSA screening at the airport to their names. Looking at the players I’ll talk about next, at least one, and probably two of these guys probably aren’t making the 53-man roster.
The biggest concern for ESB are the other two tall, athletic receivers Green Bay drafted this spring. Both J’mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were taken well ahead of the Notre Dame product, which should tell you all you need to know about how the Packers had the three on their draft board. Draft capital matters, and in this case, it is a huge issue for St. Brown.
Even if he makes the team, the complicatedly-named receiver is going to have to show the Packers front office and coaching staff they made a mistake selecting him third among their rookie pass catchers.
I’ve spent the better part of my research process for this article wondering how Valdes-Scantling went ahead of St. Brown. He is a slightly faster, but far less refined version of ESB, who was more of a seventh round prospect, not somebody worth taking at 174th overall. St. Brown should dispatch him with ease.
As long as he puts his off-the-field issues in the rearview, the talented, well-rounded Moore is a bigger issue. He figures to be a significant stumbling block for St. Brown, and one that is likely to help keep him to something like a 15-20 reception ceiling this season. If you are drafting ESB as anything more, you are making a mistake.
Things could look a little better long term. Cobb’s career has been in a relative tail-spin the last few years and his contract is up at season’s end. Despite my positive words about Moore above, he is still developing and hasn’t always shown to have his head on straight. All this ties together to give St. Brown a shot at being Aaron Rodgers’ number two receiver in 12 months time.
Before saying what I’m about to say, I should preface it with the information ESB was in my top-15 pre-draft rookie rankings. Of course, this assumed a third, maybe fourth round draft slot, but the love was/is real. With that said, there is a real chance St. Brown is being announced with the starters next year. Even if that dream scenario doesn’t come to fruition, his floor could be much higher than his draft slot suggests, potentially placing him in that fantasy WR5/6 deep threat category.
NFL Player Comparison
A less-explosive but more well-rounded (when he was a rookie) Martavis Bryant.
Rookie Draft Advice
In our most recent, super hot of the presses post-draft ADP, ESB is the 25th rookie off the board. Most years I’d call you all nuts for taking him so early, but the draft is particularly weak once you get into that area. Still, St. Brown is an incredibly speculative pick, I’d likely not make even at that point. You are far better off trading out and letting somebody else burn the late second/early third. Then be patient, let the months roll by, and when he does absolutely nothing this season, offer his owner a late round pick or snag him off waivers in case 2019 goes better.
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- NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the AFC North - June 18, 2018