The SF 49ers received some stellar play from rookie wideout Brandon Aiyuk against the NY Giants, but there are signs he could be even better.
Forget any massive concerns about SF 49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk taking a long time to acclimate himself to the rigors of life at the NFL level, particularly in a pandemic-shortened offseason and after he suffered a minor hamstring injury in training camp.
Forget whether or not the Niners would have been better served by targeting one of the other top-flight wide receivers — CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson or Tee Higgins — instead of the player they selected at No. 24 overall, Aiyuk.
And you can forget worrying whether Aiyuk would be able to master the complex and innovative offense head coach Kyle Shanahan operates.
If there were any doubts to Aiyuk’s potential impact, they were erased in Week 3 during San Francisco’s lopsided 36-9 road win over the New York Giants.
OK, so the 0-3 Giants don’t pose much of a threat, right? Well, their defense wasn’t exactly the problem. Entering Week 3, Football Outsiders actually ranked the G-Men’s defense No. 7 overall.
Yet Aiyuk thrived against that group, putting up a team-high five receptions for 70 yards and leading all Niners players with 101 total yards from scrimmage. What stood out from the film was just how regularly Aiyuk was getting into open spots in the Giants’ zone-coverage schemes:
This was pretty exceptional. Especially when you combine his elusiveness and post-catch speed.
Despite the impressive outing, there are reasons to suggest why Aiyuk could end up being better than his Week 3 performance showed.
Let’s dive into those here and break down why the former Arizona State wideout could be a budding star in the making.