The Jacksonville Jaguars ranked 32nd in points scored last season and while taking USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown wouldn’t have turned their offense into a powerhouse, he could have become an important contributor right off the bat. That’s why it’s not shocking to see the former Trojan go to the Jags in a recent draft do-over.
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently redid last year’s draft and while he still had the Jaguars taking Trevor Lawrence at number one, they took St. Brown and not Clemson running back Travis Etienne with their second first-round pick, the 25th overall. Knox argues that St. Brown “proved to be a No.1-caliber receiver” for the Detroit Lions, the team that took him in the fourth round.
"The move would be worth it for Jacksonville. St. Brown proved to be a No. 1-caliber receiver with Detroit, especially late in the season. He finished with 90 catches, 912 yards and five touchdowns. He also ended the year with six straight games with at least eight receptions. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, St. Brown didn’t drop a pass and had 22 more receptions than any other player who went without a drop in 2021."
Knox goes on to say that the Lions forced the ball to St. Brown late last season because they had no other weapons but believes that the same situation might also have happened in Jacksonville. After losing Jamal Agnew and DJ Chark Jr. to season-ending injuries in 2021, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell became one of the Jaguars’ primary targets late in the season, so it isn’t farfetched to think St. Brown could have helped.
The Jaguars could have certainly used Amon-Ra St. Brown last season.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s unlikely that the Lions nor any other team thought St. Brown was going to become a number one wide receiver. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been available in the fourth round. Sure, it wouldn’t have made sense to take the USC product instead of Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell at No. 7 overall but they had a chance to take him in the second or third round and opted to wait until the fourth.
Now, St. Brown would have been a good acquisition last season regardless of the round but it’s hard to tell how much of a difference he would have made on Jacksonville’s offense last season. After all, Urban Meyer turned the Jaguars into a mess, and while St. Brown went on to have a productive rookie campaign in Detroit, he landed in a more stable situation.
Keep in mind that Travis Etienne missed his rookie campaign after suffering a Lisfranc injury in his rookie campaign and he could make a big impact in his sophomore year. Thus, it’s a bit too early to pan the pick, even if taking a running back in the first round isn’t a sound draft strategy.
Should the Jaguars have drafted Amon-Ra St. Brown? Sure. Should they have done it in the first round? Probably but the same is true for all other 31 NFL teams, so it’s hard to blame Jacksonville for missing on the wider receiver.