Editor's note: This is part of an ongoing series in which Ryan Berry will break down potential prospects the rebuilding 49ers can consider in the 2018 draft.
Equanimeous St. Brown - Jr., Notre Dame
Ht/wt: 6-foot-5, 203 lbs.
2017: 33 receptions, 515 receiving yards, 4 TDs
Don’t let the lesser stats fool you, Equanimeous St. Brown is an intriguing top-level big-play wide receiver talent from Notre Dame with great size, speed and smooth route-running ability (specifically in mesh and crossing concepts).
His most accomplished collegiate season, his sophomore year, St. Brown led the Irish with 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine TDs (including four of 29 yards or more). His junior year didn’t go as planned with beyond inconsistent quarterback play – although he did show the ability to consistently get open.
Both of St. Brown’s brothers are playing Division 1 football (USC and Stanford), while his father was a two-time Mr. Universe. The Anaheim native speaks French, German, and English.
Brian Kelly and Notre Dame lined up St. Brown outside and in the slot. As mentioned previously, his quarterbacks missed him routinely. Still, St. Brown had his moments – most notably versus Stanford with five receptions for 111 yards. The 6-foot-5 receiver is staying close to home for his pre-draft training at STARS SoCal in Anaheim, CA where he goes up against one of Eric Crocker’s favorites, Isaiah Oliver.
49ers usage: At 6-foot-5, St. Brown is much, much larger than any other productive wide receiver on the 49ers. Right away, he'd complement what they already have in speedster Marquise Goodwin and possession receiver Pierre Garçon. With Jimmy G consistently shredding defenses across the middle (see Week 13 vs. Bears), St. Brown could come in and use his elite long-strider speed and fluidity to make for a nice connection.
Games watched: Virginia Tech 2016, Syracuse 2016, Stanford 2017, USC 2017
As my chef would say after drinking 2009, Chateau de la Huste Fronsac, “c'est lisse…” this is smooth.
Projected Round: 2nd round. St. Brown should thrive at the NFL Combine, showing off his speed and athleticism. For him to be a true NFL No. 1, he must play better when defenders are close to him, especially on out routes and in traffic — really attack the ball in the air and hold on through contact. St. Brown has good hands overall and is an excellent route runner. His ability to crank up his speed quickly will play nicely at the next level. He was lackadaisical at times, but that might be more the lackluster play-calling this past year at ND. St. Brown creates separation at the top of his routes, but could use better body control on deep balls to keep defenders away from making a play on the ball.
Pro Comp: Tyrell Williams, WR, Chargers
Media courtesy USA Today Sports Images