OK, here’s what I think about Brandon Aiyuk: YAC. YAC, YAC, YAC. YAC-YAC-YACKITY-YAC.
Aiyuk has size, but he wasn’t the biggest wide receiver in the 2020 draft. He’s got some speed, but he wasn’t the fastest. He doesn’t run the best routes, certainly doesn’t have the best hands. What Aiyuk does have is an innate ability to break tackles and run with the football. And Kyle Shanahan does love him some yards after the catch.
Much of Shanahan’s offense is designed to get guys open on crossing routes and slants, and not just wide receivers. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders, Kendrick Bourne and the occasional running back all feasted on those routes in 2019. The coach is hoping Aiyuk perfects the art. He certainly did at Arizona State, where he led the nation in yards after the catch.
A flyer like Henry Ruggs would have been more of a traditional complement to Sanders and Kittle. Shanahan ignored that. He wants too much of a good thing. And to him, a good thing is a receiver catching a pass about eight yards downfield, one defender in his wake and no one to cut him off.
More on the first round later.
How you feeling, Niners fans?