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Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown still keeps notebook of 16 WRs drafted before him: 'It's something I'll never forget'

During an episode of last preseason's Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions, Amon-Ra St. Brown listed the 16 wide receivers taken before him in the 2021 NFL Draft from memory.

Despite going on to exceed a 90-catch rookie season by collecting 106 receptions for 1,161 yards and six touchdowns to make his first Pro Bowl, St. Brown still refuses to let go of those names.

"I actually still think about it," the wideout admitted on Monday's NFL Total Access with Mike Yam. "I actually have my goals written down in my notebook. What I want to achieve every year. So, what I want to achieve this year going into the season, my personal goals, and then right below that I have the 16 receivers written down, where they went to college right below that. And so, I read that whole list three times before I go to practice every day. It's something I'll never forget. Something I make sure I'm always reminded of."

That list includes fellow stars like Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle, but it also has players that have already left their original teams, such as Elijah Moore and Amari Rodgers.

Most worth noting, though, is St. Brown has more receptions than all of them. His 196 receptions tie him with Justin Jefferson and Michael Thomas for the most in NFL history through a player's first two seasons.

He's confident a pair of offensive rookies in this year's draft can come in and similarly contribute for an ascending Lions team, and he attributed some of that optimism in tongue-and-cheek manor to himself being a gem of a selection.

"I think (general manager) Brad (Holmes) and the guys here in Detroit did a great job of drafting," St. Brown said. "Obviously, they drafted me, found me in the fourth round, so they know how to find talent. OTAs, it's kind of hard to tell without pads, but there's a bunch of guys that I think are going to be great for us. Our running back that we got, Jahmyr Gibbs. I'm mostly watching the offense, so I see a lot of those guys. I can't wait to see what he does for us. Explosive back. Our tight end (Sam LaPorta), he balled out during OTAs, so I can't wait to see all of them just go out and have fun."

Gibbs, a surprise pick at No. 12 overall, will work in tandem with David Montgomery to replace Detroit's thunder-and-lightning duo of Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift that made up the team's backfield last year.

LaPorta, meanwhile, is set to learn the ropes alongside third-year veterans Brock White and Shane Zylstra, who tied for second on the team behind St. Brown with four receiving scores each in 2022.

If those two can have even a fraction of the early impact St. Brown has had since entering the league, the Lions offense could be in for a repeat performance after ranking fifth in scoring last season.

The first test for Detroit will come in the NFL Kickoff Game against the Chiefs, where the Pro Bowler's motivating factor beyond the 16 WRs taken before him figures to be knocking the Super Bowl champs from their pedestal.

For those fans looking for a little extra inspiration, too, St. Brown has been tasked with choosing some of NFL Network's programming on Tuesday as a part of his Player's Choice picks.

He teased his selections on Total Access ahead of time: "I was given several things to choose from, but like you talked about earlier, Hard Knocks, that was super fun to be a part of. So, you guys are going to get a chance to see a run back of some of the Hard Knocks. Some of the episodes or clips that I really liked. Some games that I enjoyed playing in last year. Performances that were really good for me. Some legends that played for us -- Calvin Johnson, Barry Sanders -- just more Detroit hype, trying to hype it up more. Guys I really loved watching growing up. Maybe some guys on other teams. So, you definitely got to tune in."

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