49ers fans should be thrilled about Brandon Aiyuk in 2020

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) /

Brandon Aiyuk figures to be used similarly to Deebo Samuel by the 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is known throughout the league as somewhat of an offensive genius.

It’s hard to argue, given how he’s brought back the power running game to the NFL and his ability to scheme open players in the passing game.

Where Shanahan really excels is in the latter. His exotic schemes in both running and passing the ball allow numerous big plays to develop, and he’s not averse to using rookies and undrafted players if he feels they’ve earned the right to be a big part of the offense.

Enter the first-round draftee, Brandon Aiyuk, a player with a high ceiling in the 49ers offensive scheme who looks set to have plays drawn up for him to take advantage of his strengths.

In the 2019 season, we saw an example of this with how wide receiver Deebo Samuel was used as both a running back and a wide receiver for the 49ers in his rookie year.

In 2019, Samuel became a bigger part of the offense as the year went on until he was arguably the No. 1 wide receiver on the roster. He also did his damage in the running game, too, as half of his six touchdowns on the year came from him being utilized as a running back.

Receiving & Rushing Table

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Shanahan utilized Samuel in a variety of ways to make him a gadget weapon for the team. It should excite 49ers fans that with Aiyuk on the team, as now they have another version of Samuel to use on the field.

Both are similarly sized and are lethal threats when it comes to the open field. If either Samuel or Aiyuk has space in front of them, you can pretty much wave them goodbye.

Samuel had a successful rookie season because teams didn’t have NFL tape on him for his first season, but teams could target him once his tendencies and designed plays are studied over a full offseason.

But with Aiyuk on the team, the odds are that defenses will be kept on their toes because teams won’t be able to take their eyes off either of them. Samuel will naturally get the primary focus of the defense as the experienced (relatively speaking) receiver, so Aiyuk should be able to make some big splash plays as a rookie.

While as a whole the passing offense was good for 2019, it was the one identifiable part of the offense that was universally recognized as needing upgrading. The 49ers offensive scheme is perfect for players that can make plays in space like Aiyuk does, and it’s exciting to see what he can do as a duo with Samuel.

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Fans should get excited for Aiyuk just like they have been for Samuel, it looks very clear that he’s going to be a big part of the offense, and the potential for mayhem with his partner in crime is going to be one of the most exciting parts of the Niners’ 2020 revenge tour.