5 young SF 49ers players who look like emerging ballers

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
5 of 5

No. 1: SF 49ers Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk

First-round NFL Draft picks always receive a lot of attention, and rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is no exception.

Sure, there were concerns how long it would take Aiyuk to acclimate himself to life at the pro level, especially in a pandemic-altered offseason and after he suffered a hamstring injury in training camp that kept him out of Week 1.

Following a modest performance in Week 2, Aiyuk took center stage in Week 3 against the Giants, hauling in a team-high five receptions for 70 yards and developing some much-needed playmaking chemistry with Nick Mullens in the second half.

But what made Aiyuk all the more special was how Kyle Shanahan didn’t hesitate to use him in a Deebo Samuel-like role as a rusher, including this 19-yard end-around touchdown on the ground where Aiyuk wasn’t even touched by New York’s defense.

In total, Aiyuk had 101 yards from scrimmage in the win.

There are a number of reasons to increase the excitement about Aiyuk moving forward. For starters, he was the most effective college receiver after the catch in 2019, and that plays well into Shanahan’s offense.

On top of that, paired with Samuel, the Niners could finally have that dominant and long-term one-two pairing at wide receiver they’ve been seeking for so long now.

Next. 49ers position grades, analysis from one-sided win vs. Giants. dark

Needless to say, fans can’t wait to see what else Aiyuk has to offer early in his career.