After addressing their defense with three picks on Day 2, the Lions shifted back over to the offensive side of the ball with their first pick on Day 3 and the selection of USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the fourth round with the No. 112 pick.
A three-year starter at USC, St. Brown (5-11, 197) lined up both inside and outside for the Trojans. He made an immediate impact at USC with 60 catches for 750 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman, and finished his career No. 11 in school history with 178 receptions. He was a 1,000-yard receiver in 2019. He has terrific route-running ability and body control, and makes a ton of tough catches. He ranked eighth in the FBS in contested catches last season.
That toughness, in part, comes from the fact that St. Brown has been lifting weights since he was six years old. His father, John Brown, was a bodybuilder who won the Mr. Universe contest twice (1981 & 82) and was named Mr. World three times.
His brother, Equanimeous St. Brown, plays for the Green Bay Packers.
"My family has been huge in my journey here getting to where I am now with the Detroit Lions," St. Brown said Saturday. "I'm excited. They've been huge in my whole process and I can't thank them enough for what they've done for me."
The Lions lost their top two wide receivers - Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. - in free agency. They signed Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond and Damion Ratley, but all those signings were one-year deals. There's still a long-term need at the position that St. Brown helps fill.
"I think physicality is huge at the receiver position," St. Brown said. "Contested catches and I have strong hands. Being durable. My college career I didn't miss one game. I think that's a testament to the work I put in in the weight room and taking care of my body and making sure my body is strong enough to take those impacts and those hits."
Detroit also returns Quintez Cephus, Tom Kennedy, Victor Bolden and Geronimo Allison, but only Cephus caught a pass in a game last season among that group.
St. Brown only had two drops in 58 targets in 2020, and also has the ability to return punts.