While pound-for-pound the Detroit Lions may have won the first three rounds of the NFL draft, they went into Saturday needing a wide receiver and a linebacker.
Boom, boom – GM Brad Holmes handled both with back-to-back picks in the fourth round to open Saturday’s action.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (USC) was selected with the 112th overall pick.
Then Campbell traded his fifth-round pick and a fourth-round pick in 2022 to draft linebacker Derrick Barnes (Purdue) with the 113th pick and also pick up the 257th overall pick in today’s seventh round.
St. Brown’s draft profiles read the same – good hands, solid body control and even though he doesn’t have the length (he’s 6-foot) he wins 50-50 balls. In fact he was eighth in the country with that stat.
“It’s a lot of things, its definitely being in stride at the point of the catch is huge, being able to track the ball is another thing, usually contested catches are depper balls,’’ St. Brown said in a media call. “Being able to track the ball and know when to attack is huge and having that mentality that you’re going to work no matter who’s there at getting that.’’
The youngest of three boys, he comes from an athletic background – his dad was Mr. Universe and his brother, Equanimeous, plays for the Green Bay Packers. His dad wanted his sons to have different names – Amon-Ra is the Eqyptian God of sun and light.
He started lifting when he was 6 with PVC pipes to get the form and gradually lifting weights.
At USC,he played in 31 games with 23 starts. Overall he had 178 career catches for 2,270 yards (12.8 avg) and 16 TDs in his career to rank 11th on USC’s career receptions list. He had a streak of 4 consecutive 100-yard receiving outings (last 2 games in 2019, first 2 in 2020)
Barnes, who is also 6-foot, has good size, long arms and sideline-to-sideline range.
He’s a natural for the Lions since he has a lion tattooed across his right pec. He had a feeling the Lions would draft him.
“I knew because my coach at Purdue would text me, the Lions love you. The Lions think highly of you ,it all shows. I’m really blessed to be a Lion that’s my favorite animal,’’ Barnes said in a media call.
He further explained his fascination with lions.
“My favorite animal is the lion, the king of the jungle. The heart of the lion is what i say I have —- loyalty, power, leadership — I think that’s all the strengths I grew up having,’’ Barnes said.
He has the burst to spy quarterbacks, according to his ESPN draft profile. He flashes as a pass-rusher and has some upside in coverage. He has average stopping power as a run defender. He has the potential to quickly develop into a core special teams player.
In the first three rounds the Lions drafted RT Penei Sewell (331 pounds), DT Levi Onwuzurike (290 pounds) and DT Alim McNeil (317 pounds).