49ers 2020 NFL Draft: Brandon Aiyuk the needed receiving reinforcement

Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images) /

With the 25th pick in the NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State.

The San Francisco 49ers traded pick Nos. 31, 117 and 176 in the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings for the 25th selection.

With the newly traded pick, the 49ers took wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, out of Arizona State.

General manager John Lynch was under fire on social media for not selecting a wide receiver with the 14th overall selection, which was used to grab South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, but Lynch came back with a late first-round trade to get their guy. The Niners lost wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to free agency, and with the potential of losing Marquise Goodwin this weekend, they needed someone to pair with Deebo Samuel.

Aiyuk is a guy who’ll fit the 49ers offensive system. He’s 6-feet-0 tall, 205 pounds with tones of speed. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds with a vertical of 40 inches. His route running is clean and can be a huge factor in off-man coverage. He’s also able to make the corners second guess his routes, which will be key when he and Samuel are on the outside.

The knock-on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this season was his passing game. There was lots of talk about overthrows and interceptions. Aiyuk will be the perfect fit to help Garoppolo improve. He’s a natural-born receiver and is almost always guaranteed to get the first down. It also takes a load of tight end George Kittle for now. Kittle was the top receiver for the 49ers, but it’ll be refreshing to see a true wideout take control of the offense.

He might not have been 49er fans’ first choice, but he certainly will become a fan favorite if he’s able to accomplish what he did in the college ranks. With the Sun Devils in 2019, he had 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. To put those numbers into perspective, he would’ve been the leading all-natural receiver for the 49ers last season.

To go along with his receiving skills, Aiyuk can also be a threat when it comes to the return game. Last season he averaged 16.1 yards on 14 punt returns with a touchdown to boot. On the kick return, he averaged 31.9 yards on 14 returns for a total of 446 yards.

Next. 49ers 2020 NFL Draft tracker with grades, analysis. dark

San Francisco fans can rest easy tonight knowing they finally got some help in the receiving department. The receiver position hasn’t been a strength of the red and gold in recent years, but with Samuel having a phenomenal rookie season, fans can only hope Aiyuk follows suit.