Brock Purdy would love these 4 Brandon Aiyuk replacements in 2024 NFL Draft

IF the 49ers trade Brandon Aiyuk.

Don't forget the "if."

Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5)
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

NFL Draft season is speculation season, meaning Brock Purdy would be satisfied with these four wide receivers if the 49ers do trade Brandon Aiyuk.

The San Francisco 49ers are (probably) not going to trade wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Not with a win-now mentality heading into 2024 with a stacked roster that will have to undergo some massive overhauls in the next few years once quarterback Brock Purdy gets paid a hefty extension.

Aiyuk, too, is seeking his own extension. But there aren't any wide receivers in this year's NFL Draft whom the Niners would have reasonable access to that would serve as an equal to Aiyuk's importance for Purdy.

The two do have a notable chemistry together. Purdy is a key reason why Aiyuk led San Francisco in receiving yards the last two seasons.

We don't know the conclusive evidence until likely the very end of Round 1. If the 49ers don't trade him by that point, it's all but guaranteed he'll be on the roster in 2024.

However, knowing the Niners could trade Aiyuk, at least in theory, they would need to find a replacement. One with whom Purdy would be able to develop a similar chemistry.

Good thing the 2024 NFL Draft is laden with talented wideout prospects.

It's a top-heavy class, yes. But these wide receivers coud end up being excellent Aiyuk replacements for San Francisco, should it ultimately go that route.

No. 4: Roman Wilson, Michigan

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Aiyuk would likely command a first-round pick, but the 49ers may not opt to use one of their two would-be Round 1 selections on his replacement.

They could, however, look at Round 2 where Michigan's Roman Wilson could be a viable target and an ideal scheme fit.

Wilson is a bit undersized at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, but he makes up for it with excellent speed (4.39 40-yard time at the NFL Combine) and has quality route-running abilities, both traits making him a notable prospect fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan. Wilson is a willing blocker, too, which will earn him points with Shanahan if he's not necessarily getting the target shares right away.

No. 3: Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

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In some ways, LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. is the opposite of Wilson in that he's notably bigger (6-foot-3 and 209 pounds) but lacks the polished route-running skills Wilson possesses.

Both receivers are fast, though, with Thomas running a 4.33 40-yard time at the combine.

The intangibles are certainly in Thomas' favor, which is why he's a likely first-round target, probably slipping toward the late 20s or even to the Niners' range at No. 31 overall.

Like Aiyuk, Thomas might require a year or two to fully acclimate his skill set into becoming a true No. 1 thread, but all the tools are there to suggest he could be a long-term solution for Purdy and Shanahan.

No. 2: Ladd McConkey, Georgia

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Route-running skills are what helped turn Aiyuk into a household name, and Shanahan would surely be paying attention to Georgia's Ladd McConkey in that regard.

Perhaps the best pure route-runner in this year's class, McConkey is a late first-round target who boasts a slightly undersized frame at 6-foot-0 and 186 pounds and has some injury concerns.

But, when he's on, he's on.

McConkey made his way onto NFL Network's Peter Schrager's latest mock draft, and the breakdown is more than just reasonable:

Even if Aiyuk isn't dealt, McConkey could still feasibly be a top San Francisco target.

No. 1: Adonai Mitchell, Texas

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Xavier Worthy might have caught all the attention for Texas wide receivers, thanks to his record-setting 4.21 40-yard time at the NFL Scouting Combine, but his teammate, Adonai Mitchell, is still the superior overall prospect.

At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, not hurting for speed either after running a 4.34 40-yard time, Mitchell might be the perfect go-to wide receiver prospect for Purdy and the 49ers to grab in Round 1, provided he either falls to them at No. 31, the Niners trade up or Aiyuk is dealt for a pick that would surely land Mitchell.

He might not have the best overall route-running capabilities, but he plays with physicality and seems to have a knack for making plays in key moments. Plus, he'd fit right into San Francisco's preference for pass catchers who can generate plenty of yards after the catch.

Simply put, Mitchell might be the most ideal of 49ers receiving targets.

If they go that route, of course.

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