5 underperforming 49ers who must play better after Week 6 bye
By Peter Panacy
No. 4: 49ers Wide Receiver Brandon Aiyuk
One of the highlighted frustrations surrounding the 49ers this season has been the apparent disappearance of second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who burst upon the scene in 2020 after being a first-round NFL Draft choice out of ASU.
Aiyuk’s flair and immediate impact haven’t carried over at all into 2021, and the presumed No. 1 wideout on head coach Kyle Shanahan’s roster has just eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown this season after recording 60, 748 and five, respectively, his rookie season.
Perhaps Shanahan has put Aiyuk in the doghouse this season, and general manager John Lynch’s recent comments to KNBR 680 suggest the team isn’t quite satisfied with Aiyuk’s efforts just yet.
That said, Aiyuk is still one of the Niners’ top offensive weapons and needs to be involved in the game plan, and he needs to make the most of whatever opportunities he gets, too.
Fellow wide receiver Deebo Samuel is shouldering the bulk of the load through the air this season, boasting an incredible 548 receiving yards on 31 catches. Yet Aiyuk needs to serve as that complementary piece who can take pressure off Samuel and allow San Francisco’s disjointed offense to open up fully.
Look for that to play out as the rest of the year moves along.