An inconsistent career at Notre Dame notwithstanding, former Irish receiver Equanimeous St. Brown heard his name called in the sixth round of the NFL draft on Saturday. The Green Bay Packers selected St. Brown with the 207th overall pick.
St. Brown left Notre Dame with a year of eligibility remaining, heeding his father’s advice to turn professional, a decision undoubtedly somewhat influenced by suspect Irish quarterback play last season. He finished his Notre Dame career with 92 catches for 1,484 yards and 13 touchdowns, highlighted by a breakout sophomore season of 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games, all of which led the Irish in 2016.
The argument for St. Brown’s return for a senior season hinged on his production returning to levels comparable, if not exceeding, his sophomore year. While some of the 2017 drop-off was attributable to St. Brown, much of it tied to the passing game overall. Thus, such an argument depended heavily on the improvement of others, a risky move to make when considering one’s own future.
St. Brown’s 4.48-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine was the 12th-fastest at the event.
With the Packers, St. Brown will have an outside chance at immediate playing time with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers targeting him. Green Bay cut veteran Jordy Nelson this offseason, now relying on two-year veteran Geronimo Allison as its third receiver. St. Brown may not surpass Allison, but he should have a clear chance at becoming Rodgers’ fourth target along with the two receivers drafted ahead of him, J’Mon Moore from Missouri (fourth round; No. 133 overall) and Marquez Valdez-Scantling from South Florida (fifth round; No. 174).
St. Brown’s career at Notre Dame:
2015: 7 games, one reception, eight yards, season shortened by a shoulder injury.
2016: 12 games, 58 receptions, 961 yards, nine touchdowns.
2017: 13 games, 33 receptions, 515 yards, four touchdowns.