Ricky Pearsall handed golden opportunity at beginning of 49ers OTAs

With wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings not present for the beginning of OTAs, this gives first-round pick Ricky Pearsall the chance to impress with the first-team offense early on.
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With a few of the 49ers big-name receivers not present for the beginning of OTAs, this has given an opportunity for first-round rookie Ricky Pearsall to get some reps with the first team and make an early statement.

The first shoots of the new preseason are beginnings to come in, with organized team activities (OTAs) beginning for the San Francisco 49ers as they look to the 2024 and a run for their sixth Super Bowl.

One of the intriguing stories as the OTAs begin is wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, the first-round pick who's the first Thursday night selection made by the Niners since the ill-fated trade for quarterback Trey Lance back in 2021.

Now, OTAs aren't exactly the end-all and be-all when it comes to the roster. It's just the very first baby step of a new season.

But what it does do is bring opportunities to rookies and backups, and Pearsall has been given a nice opportunity early on.

Read More: Keep an eye on these 4 rookies during 49ers OTA workouts

Neither Brandon Aiyuk or Jauan Jennings have reported to OTAs as they hold out for a new deal (and Jennings is technically not rostered as of writing, as he hasn't signed his tender), which means Pearsall is moving up to the the first team of wide receivers.

Why is this important? It means quarterback Brock Purdy is throwing to him more, and that it gives him more opportunities to build chemistry with him and his new teammates that'll be first and foremost on the field.

And while again we have to temper what we read in these OTAs, Sports Illustrated's Grant Cohn highlighted that Pearsall has fared reasonably well when up against starting corners to begin:

"Started in place of Brandon Aiyuk who didn't show up. Didn't beat Deommodore Lenoir, but caught two passes for 30 yards when matched up against Ambry Thomas (more on him in a minute). The better Pearsall plays this offseason, the less leverage Aiyuk will have in his contract negotiations, so you can expect to see Pearsall face Thomas quite a bit in practice."

Grant Cohn, Sports Illustrated

There's a lot of preseason still to go, but Pearsall is certainly getting early chances to impress the coaches and build some rapport with his quarterback as the 49ers hope to go one better in 2024 and hoist the Lombardi trophy they've been so close to for so long.

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