2018 NFL Draft Player Preview: Equanimeous St. Brown
Equanimeous St. Brown, 6-4/205
Equanimeous St. Brown 2017 Preview By Charlie Campbell
Career Recap: Notre Dame had a disappointing 2016 season with a lot of struggles on the defensive side of the ball. However, one of the bright spots was the performance of St. Brown. After only catching one pass as a freshman, St. Brown had a broke out in 2016 with 58 receptions for 961 yards with nine touchdowns.
2017 Season Outlook: Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly has recruited good talent to South Bend, and that will have to be drawn on as Notre Dame will be replacing starting quarterback DeShone Kizer. Hopefully, St. Brown sees a lot of targets and has at least a decent signal-caller to work with. St. Brown didn't even see enough passes thrown his direction last year when he had a good quarterback in Kizer. Notre Dame does have a good offensive line to help this season's quarterback get the ball to St. Brown.
St. Brown will see some good cornerback talent early in the season with games against Georgia and Michigan State. His best test could come in late October against rival USC, as Trojans cornerback Iman Marshall could be one of the best cornerbacks in the nation and one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. St. Brown versus Marshall will be watched closely by NFL scouts. To end the season, St. Brown is going to see a talented cornerback tandem with Stanford.
Skill-Set Summary: The passing-driven NFL has an insatiable demand for play-making wide receivers. Whether they are a No. 1 receiver, a complementary No. 2 receiver, or a dangerous slot receiver, all effective NFL offenses have good players at wideout to attack defenses. As a result, a prospect like St. Brown should have plenty of teams hoping to land him in his draft class.
St. Brown has big size with length and strength, which makes him really tough to cover and also difficult to tackle. He can run through tacklers with his power and has the quickness to bolt downfield in a hurry. With his height and frame, St. Brown is very dangerous to wall off defenders to make back-shoulder or fade receptions in the end zone. He also is athletic with quick feet to make him a good route-runner.
On top of having great size, St. Brown is quite fast. He shows serious speed to get separation from cornerbacks and runs away from defenders in the open field. Most big receivers don't run as well as he does, and he is fast to get downfield and can challenge a defense vertically.
Sources who did advance work on the 2018 class in the spring were really impressed and intrigued with St. Brown. They say he is a super-polished route runner with tremendous speed, athletic ability, body control, and hands. They said they think St. Brown could be more talented than the three wideouts who went in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft, but St. Brown has seen fewer opportunities to show his skills.
With a rare combination of height and speed, St. Brown looks like he has No. 1 receiver potential for the NFL. If he has a good season, he has the potential to grade out similar to other size-speed freak receivers like A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
2018 NFL Draft Expectations: If St. Brown is able to get enough targets to show what he is capable of doing, he could easily end up being a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.