Scouting Profile: Wide Receiver Equanimeous St. Brown
Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame
Weight: 214 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Broad Jump: N/A
While some wide receivers have a clear consensus among the draft community, but St. Brown isn’t one of those players. There are some who are grading him as a top-three talent at the wide receiver position, while others view him as a role player. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 214 pounds, it’s hard not to want to give St. Brown every chance to impress you, though you might have to dig a little deeper than most to find out the answer.
Most college receivers see their numbers rise as they go through school, but that wasn’t the case with St. Brown. After totaling 961 yards and nine touchdowns in his sophomore season, he produced just 33 receptions for 515 yards and four touchdowns. The quarterback change from DeShone Kizer to Brandon Wimbush proved to be too much for him to produce. Was it just the quarterback change or did St. Brown just fail to grow as a player?
Size/Versatility: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Some will see this grade and automatically dismiss the entire profile, but if you’ve read any of my profiles before, the player is graded on the type of player they are. St. Brown is a perimeter wide receiver whose best attribute is his height. The reason his size gets a knock is because he’s not big enough. He did gain 12 pounds from his reported college weight for the Combine, but he’s still an extremely lanky wide receiver. If you were around for the Malcom Floyd days, you remember how lanky he looked, right? Well, St. Brown is the same height, but 11 pounds lighter than him. His height is a good thing, but his size is below average. He did run some routes out of the slot while at Notre Dame, but he projects to play almost exclusively on the perimeter at the next level. The reason he’s bumped up to slightly above average is due to the size of target his quarterback has to throw to, as he’s extremely long in the arms.
Route Running/Ability to Separate: 4.0 out of 5 stars
It’s rare to see a guy who is 6-foot-5 run routes the way St. Brown does. He is smooth through his routes, and very agile, likely due to the limited weight he carries. Whatever the case, this is a huge positive to his game, and the best part is that it translates to the next level. He doesn’t have extremely long strides, which allow him to make adjustments in his route than most players that are his height. It’s also why his deceleration doesn’t take very long. If he can learn to use his arms a bit more subtly, it’ll help him in the long run. He’s constantly out-stretching his long, lanky arms to get separation which will get him called for pass interference more often than not. If he can just learn to not extend them as much, he obviously understands how to use his body to separate, and that’s a really good thing. If he could show more burst out of the hole, it’d likely give him a bigger cushion off the line of scrimmage, but I’d fully expect cornerbacks to press him on the next level.
Speed: 3.5 out of 5 stars
To see him run a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at the Combine didn’t move the needle for me, as we kind of already knew he was fast. The only area where he concerns me a bit is his lack of burst out of the hole. He almost stays upright more than he should, not putting everything into his route, which is correctable because the speed is there when he wants to use it. There were times where I saw him run a lot faster once the ball was in his hands, something that shouldn’t really happen. He needs to be more consistent in this category, but still earns an above average grade because the ability is there.
Hands: 2.5 out of 5 stars
His hands aren’t as strong as you’d like for someone as big as he is. He’ll often let the ball come too far into his body rather than snagging it out of the air. There are times where his long arms allow him to get his hands on the ball, but he’ll double-catch those balls a lot of the time, something that won’t be as common in the NFL, as there are often multiple defenders in the vicinity. His hands are part of the reason he didn’t post as big of totals in 2017 because he was often tested with lesser quarterback play, forced to make more difficult away-from-the-body catches. He cradles the catch more often than you’d like to see.
Awareness: 4.0 out of 5 stars
He knows how to use his body with the sideline quite well, though it does come back to that whole pushing off thing we talked about in his route-running. He’d get a back shoulder throw along the sideline, only to push away the defender while spinning to snag the ball along the sideline. It shows awareness, even if his pass interference was blatant. It also shows he’s got solid body control to be able to pull off such a maneuver. His ability to read zone coverage also appears to be above average as he coasts over the middle of the field, often where we’d see him in space.
After the Catch: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Another area where there are hits and misses for St. Brown. He hits another gear with the ball in his hands, and with his speed, it’s makes him incredibly difficult to catch. He’s also got solid awareness on how to navigate around defenders, which is what he needs to do because he’s not going to break many tackles in the NFL. It’s not that he’ll shy away from contact, but his bird legs are simply pretty easy to wrap-up for a defender. He’s more elusive than strong is what I’m getting at here.
Potential Landing Spot
This is going to be a place where I’d personally like to see him go – Seahawks. It’s been too long for Russell Wilson without a big perimeter wide receiver who can do some things underneath, and St. Brown can fill that role. Wilson is also one of the most accurate quarterbacks in football, which can help with some of St. Brown’s shortcomings with his hands. He’d be a perfect fit alongside Doug Baldwin who is almost the yin to his yang, as Baldwin excels in the intermediate routes, but can go deep at times. Other teams that should consider him in the third- or fourth-round include the Panthers, Falcons, and Cowboys (should they wait on wide receiver).
If you’ve been watching football over the past decade, you can’t help but be reminded of Malcom Floyd while watching St. Brown. Both are lanky wide receivers who can create enough separation to give their quarterbacks a big target downfield. Floyd likely had better hands than St. Brown, but I believe that St. Brown is the better route runner. Most people write-off Brown due to him being overshadowed by Vincent Jackson, but don’t forget that he posted at least 717 yards in 5-of-6 seasons from 2009-2014. St. Brown likely won’t ever reach WR1-type status, but he should be able to become a rock-solid No. 2 wide receiver in a passing attack.
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