The San Francisco 49ers selected Brandon Aiyuk with the No. 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The 49ers opted to go satisfy a defensive need with their first pick, but now they’ll gain another option to play opposite Deebo Samuel on the outside.
Aiyuk excelled in his first year as the top dog at Arizona State. He tallied 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight scores in 2019. He was also a return man for the Sun Devils. He averaged 16.1 yards per return on punts with one score in 2019. He also averaged 29.7 yards per return on kickoffs.
One thing that stands out for Aiyuk is his ability to turn upfield and rack up yardage after the catch. This skill helped him notch 18.3 yards per reception last season. He can turn bubble screens into big plays thanks to his explosiveness and elite change of direction. If you give him space to run his route, he finds himself open more often than not. But he does struggle some against press coverage.
Fantasy football impact
San Francisco traded up to get Aiyuk in the first round, so it holds him in high regard. He has a good chance to start for the 49ers, but don’t expect a ton of upside from the wideout with a utility player like Samuel on board and George Kittle leading the way in the passing game. San Francisco has one of the strongest rushing attacks in the NFL as well, which could affect Aiyuk’s production.
Aiyuk needs some work before he becomes a starter, but he’ll likely spend most of his time as a WR3 or WR4 for a team before then. If he’s not a starter, he’ll place outside the top 50 at his position in fantasy football. If he does earn a starting role, he could rise as high as the mid 30’s.