Round 1 of NFL Draft is crucial for Brandon Aiyuk's future with 49ers

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft will most likely reveal what ultimately happens with Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers.

Two offseasons ago, the San Francisco 49ers underwent a similar dilemma that surrounded one of their star wide receivers, not unlike what they're currently dealing with now regarding wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Entering 2022, Deebo Samuel was seeking a new contract extension after an All-Pro season. But talks between his camp and the Niners reached a point where his frustration stemmed into a trade request.

San Francisco didn't trade him, although fans wondered if he would be moved at some point throughout Round 1 of that year's NFL Draft.

Once the first round was complete, it was almost a foregone conclusion Samuel and the 49ers would reach some sort of contractual agreement.

They did.

Now, it's not a precise carbon copy regarding Aiyuk. His situation is slightly different. For starters, at least according to his agent, Aiyuk isn't demanding a trade. And the Niners are in a bit tougher a situation entering 2024 regarding the salary cap than they were in 2022.

But, with Round 1 of the draft less than a week away, there's no shortage of speculation surrounding Aiyuk's future.

San Francisco, aiming to win nothing short of a Super Bowl this upcoming season, likely understands that no rookie wide receiver (aside from Marvin Harrison Jr., perhaps) would be able to immediately replace Aiyuk's prowess in a win-now kind of year. With the pass catcher still under contract through 2024, even if he did demand a trade, the 49ers don't have to reciprocate.

Even if a disgruntled Aiyuk isn't exactly the best thing. He's currently staying away from voluntary team workouts despite reports (even from us... sorry) to the contrary.

A first-round pick in this year's draft is likely the asking price the Niners would have, however, and any would-be trade talks would probably halt unless another team is wishing to part ways with such a commodity.

See why the course of Round 1 is such a determining factor for Aiyuk's future with San Francisco?

Owning the 31st overall pick already, there is likely to be at least a little tension and drama over the previous 30 picks, especially if a wide receiver-needy team misses out on its preferred target and subsequently offers the 49ers a deal for Aiyuk that can't be refused.

Should that not happen, and it's even doubtful that it will, the Niners likely come to some sort of extension agreement with the receiver between Round 2 and just before the start of the regular season.

Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET.

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