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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

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St. Brown had a great combine, did it push him out of the Giants’ reach?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants probably won’t be investing premium resources in their receiving corps in 2018. Between trying to figure out how to pay Odell Beckham Jr., selecting Sterling Shepard in the second round of the 2016 draft, and selecting Evan Engram in the first round of the 2017 draft, they have invested plenty at the top of their depth chart.

However, they might yet have a need further down their depth chart. Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris could be cap casualties, and the Giants learned the lesson that they should always try to upgrade their depth when a spate of injuries hit the position in 2017.

Notre Dame’s Equanimeous St. Brown is an intriguing prospect who combines a rare blend of height and speed that the Giants’ lack in their receiving corps, as well as experience playing outside, in the slot, and on special teams.

Measurables

Pros

  • Long frame with a big catch radius.
  • Natural hands catcher.
  • Impressive long speed. Can run past unsuspecting DBs.
  • Surprising play strength.
  • Played in a pro-style offense.
  • Capable of picking up yards after the catch.
  • Special teams contributor, blocked a punt in 2015.

Cons

  • Lean frame, doesn’t have the mass you’d expect from a 6’5” receiver.
  • Long-strider. Chews up open field, but takes a bit longer to reach top speed.
  • Relative lack of mass might impact blocking at the next level.
  • Played with very inconsistent quarterbacking at Notre Dame, and rarely saw much work.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

BOTTOM LINE

“St. Brown’s combination of size and speed will be coveted by offenses looking for a prospect who can create throwing windows down the field with his ability to separate as the route progresses. St. Brown’s competitive nature needs to improve as does his play strength to elude early pressure from physical cornerbacks. He has never been a volume target and has just three 100-yard games in his career. At this stage, St. Brown is more of a threat than a weapon and his ceiling may be an average starter or WR3.”

-Lance Zierlein, via NFL.com

Final Thoughts

The 2018 wide receiver class is interesting both for its lack of true stand-out prospects, but also for its relative glut of big-bodied receivers. While this class doesn’t seem as athletic as previous draft classes, it did have a few receivers who distinguished themselves.

One of them is Equanimeous St. Brown out of Notre Dame. He is an interesting prospect in the mold of Martivis Bryant of the Pittsburgh Steelers (and Clemson). Though he doesn’t have Bryant’s raw speed, he has a similar long, lean frame and ability to stretch the field with his long strides. St. Brown became something of an under-the-radar prospect after DeShone Kizer’s departure for the NFL and Notre Dame’s passing game became frustrating at best. Much of his ability was hidden by a reduced role in the offense as Notre Dame turned to the running game to make up for inconsistent quarterback play -- Play which also did little to showcase St. Brown’s talent.

But looking back to his 2016 tape, he is a talented wideout who looks natural catching the ball and effortless in stretching the field.

His lean frame is going to be a concern for some teams who expect a taller wide receiver to physically dominate, and he might struggle dealing with more physical defenders at the next level. It might be possible for him to add mass to his frame, as his father was a professional bodybuilder and former Mr. Universe. However, teams should be hesitant to force it on him at the risk of compromising the athleticism that separates him from other big receivers.

Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman has shown an affinity for big receivers, and the team could use a big player who can be a threat in the red zone and stretch the field opposite Odell Beckham Jr., especially if they part ways with Brandon Marshall. There are a lot of big receivers in the draft, but St. Brown could certainly intrigue in the right draft slot. He is generally projected to go in the third round, but if he slides, the Giants could use one of their fourth round picks on him.