Using the sting of a disappointing outcome at the NFL draft as motivation to propel yourself to a more successful career isn't exactly a new art. Tom Brady made that famous after being selected No. 199 overall at the 2000 NFL Draft and there have been others throughout the history of the game to go down a similar track. As we move forward from the 2021 draft, could Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown be the next player to follow this route? Judging by his recent comments, it sure sounds like he's up for the challenge.
The USC product didn't have the draft experience that he'd hoped for, sitting there as 16 receivers came off the board before Detroit came calling in the fourth round with the No. 112 pick. While that was hardly the start he was looking for, St. Brown is using this snub as fuel to push harder now that he's in the league. He also noted that he's "never going to forget the  receivers that went before me in the draft."
"(When the third round ended) I had a bittersweet feeling in my mouth and it just made me realize is I've got to go harder," St. Brown said Sunday at Lions rookie minicamp, via the Detroit Free Press. "I'm glad that the Detroit Lions drafted me but this is just the starting point for me. It's the beginning of a chapter for me and I'm going to go ahead and work hard and give it everything I've got."
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St. Brown does come to Detroit after a productive career at UCS. Over three seasons (30 games), the 5-foot-11, 197 pounder caught 178 balls for 2,270 yards (12.8 yards per catch) and 16 touchdowns. Already he's begun working with new Lions quarterback Jared Goff in California and is as motivated as ever to climb to the ladder of the receiver depth chart.
"I'm excited to be here," he said. "I'm excited to work and I'm ready to take someone's job."
St. Brown, who has lined up both as an outside and slot receiver so far, has seemingly opened some eyes during this early stage of Detroit's offseason program as head coach Dan Campbell noted that he "has not disappointed" over his first taste of NFL action at rookie camp. Can the receiver continue this positive momentum and make other teams kick themselves for not taking him earlier in the draft? We'll soon find out.