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Mr. Irrelevant

Dynasty: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers - Effectively utilizing vertical social distancing to score TDs

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Generally, the one thing that gets me to start a prospect thread here is "I considered taking this guy in a WSL draft and couldn't believe he doesn't have a dedicated SP thread SP yet." AFAICR, I've only had this happen twice in 5 years for WRs. Once with Michael Thomas ... and once with Leonte Carroo. 50/50 chance of Aiyuk becoming the NFL's fantasy WR1 confirmed! :lmao:

The best concise summary I've seen of his draft prospects, courtesy of The Ringer:

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Brandon Aiyuk

Wide Receiver

Arizona State, senior

Yards 1192
Yards Per Reception 18.3
Touchdowns 8
Receptions 65
20-plus Yard Plays 17

HEIGHT / WEIGHT 6'0'', 206

AGE 21

SHADES OF D.J. Moore

Quick-twitch pass catcher with the potential to find pay dirt every time he touches the ball.

MAIN SELLING POINT: Big-play talent

SCOUTING REPORT

Aiyuk has a tall, well-built frame, absurdly long arms, and a springy lower half. The former junior college transfer is lightning quick at the line of scrimmage, sudden in and out of breaks, and elusive after the catch thanks to his turbo acceleration and ability to change direction without gearing down. He plucks the ball away from his body and brushes off attempted arm tackles like they’re nothing. He’s a big play waiting to happen: He had six 50-plus-yard plays in 2019 (tied for fourth in college football), including three of 70-plus yards (tied for second).

Aiyuk proved to be a threat in the return game, too. He conjures images of Stanford-era Ty Montgomery as a kick and punt returner, averaging 31.9 yards per kick return and 16.1 yards per punt return in 2019. He took a punt to the house against Oregon State and returned a kick 97 yards against USC.

The Sun Devils product was named third-team AP All-American in 2019 after reeling in 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight scores. He’s raw as a route runner and inconsistent in contested-catch situations, but the upside is unmistakable. His ability to break huge plays should give defenses headaches from the moment he enters the league.

WHY HE COULD RISE
Aiyuk has game-breaking speed with the ball in his hands.

WHY HE COULD FALL
He needs to refine and expand his route tree at the next level, and he had just one season of high-end production at Arizona State.

He's got at least one outspoken fan on this board ... right, @ZWK?

Let's hear from the others!

Edited by Mr. Irrelevant
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Aiyuk has pretty iffy hands, so iffy, that a lot of teams recruiting him wanted him to switch to CB. Aiyuk excels after the catch, specifically on screens. In fact Aiyuk averaged 10.9 YAC last season. He's also a good route runner down the field, and has good speed, and quickness. He also has top notch return ability. DJ Moore isn't a bad comp at all in my opinion.

Really the only major weakness I see is below average hands, and perhaps a lack of "my ball" mentality. I'm not worried about the 1 year wonder thing, as he was a dominant player in JUCO, had one year where the offense flowed through 2 other guys(N'Keal Harry and Eno Benjamin, who weren't in their 1st year on the team) and then he became the guy, or at least 1A alongside Benjamin.

I think he's worth a late 1st round pick, I think he's a much better prospect than Harry was a year ago, though I was about as low on Harry as anyone. That said, this year's WR class is a lot better than last year's, so where Aiyuk likely would have been a top-4 WR prospect a year ago, he's probably in the 7-10 range this year in my opinion.

Also, he's got a wingspan so large that he can sit in the back of a car and open both front doors at the same time, or so the stories are told.

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36 minutes ago, travdogg said:

Also, he's got a wingspan so large that he can sit in the back of a car and open both front doors at the same time, or so the stories are told.

I've heard it said that he can get into bed and then turn off the light switch, so he can be under the covers before the room gets dark.

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Based on my observations this guys 40 time keeps getting faster with each day that passes since the combine.

Maybe he ran a 4.2 by now with the way that seemed to happen.

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Positives: Great combination of volume and efficiency in 2019, great after the catch, according to PFF he's greats on screens and also very good on deep & intermediate routes, great explosiveness in the jumps at the combine which also was apparent on the field, thick build with long arms.

Negatives: PFF has him with a terrible contested catch rate, a not-that-impressive overall grade (especially on short routes past the line of scrimmage), and a slightly worse than average drop rate. Only had 1 big FBS season which came as a 21-year-old senior.

Not sure about his route running.

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Just now, ZWK said:

Positives: Great combination of volume and efficiency in 2019, great after the catch, according to PFF he's greats on screens and also very good on deep & intermediate routes, great explosiveness in the jumps at the combine which also was apparent on the field, thick build with long arms.

Negatives: PFF has him with a terrible contested catch rate, a not-that-impressive overall grade (especially on short routes past the line of scrimmage), and a slightly worse than average drop rate. Only had 1 big FBS season which came as a 21-year-old senior.

Not sure about his route running.

If I get bored tonight I’m going to see if I can look up JuCo’s to make it in the NFL. I feel like this is a scenario where breakout age isn’t beholden to the story the kid has. I know OchoCinco was a JuCo and I think TO had limited production as well at a small school. There can be narratives to separate from the numbers.

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1 hour ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Mr. Fantastic once asked him, "Hey, can you reach that for me?"

That is awesome. 

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4 hours ago, travdogg said:

Aiyuk has pretty iffy hands, so iffy, that a lot of teams recruiting him wanted him to switch to CB. Aiyuk excels after the catch, specifically on screens. In fact Aiyuk averaged 10.9 YAC last season. He's also a good route runner down the field, and has good speed, and quickness. He also has top notch return ability. DJ Moore isn't a bad comp at all in my opinion.

Really the only major weakness I see is below average hands, and perhaps a lack of "my ball" mentality. I'm not worried about the 1 year wonder thing, as he was a dominant player in JUCO, had one year where the offense flowed through 2 other guys(N'Keal Harry and Eno Benjamin, who weren't in their 1st year on the team) and then he became the guy, or at least 1A alongside Benjamin.

I think he's worth a late 1st round pick, I think he's a much better prospect than Harry was a year ago, though I was about as low on Harry as anyone. That said, this year's WR class is a lot better than last year's, so where Aiyuk likely would have been a top-4 WR prospect a year ago, he's probably in the 7-10 range this year in my opinion.

Also, he's got a wingspan so large that he can sit in the back of a car and open both front doors at the same time, or so the stories are told.

read something about how he was talking with Harry about adjustments to the NFL game. the system they played in didn't lend itself to NFL and Harry struggled. Harry told him as much and advised him to prepare. Alyuk says he's been working at it. i take this as a good sign for him.

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20 hours ago, travdogg said:

I think he's worth a late 1st round pick, I think he's a much better prospect than Harry was a year ago, though I was about as low on Harry as anyone. That said, this year's WR class is a lot better than last year's, so where Aiyuk likely would have been a top-4 WR prospect a year ago, he's probably in the 7-10 range this year in my opinion.

This has been the narrative since at least January 2019, but can we say that it is still true?  Athletically (based on combine numbers), the 2019 class blows away this year's.

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3 hours ago, tangfoot said:

This has been the narrative since at least January 2019, but can we say that it is still true?  Athletically (based on combine numbers), the 2019 class blows away this year's.

I think its very true, and I thought last year was a really great class. I'm not overly concerned with combine athletes, so much as on field tape. Looking great at the combine is a bonus in my opinion. If a guy has great tape, and a great combine, then we are really cooking. 

I don't think any prospect from 2019(or any WR since Cooper in 2015) is as good as Jeudy or Lamb,. Take those 2 out, and I think the 2019 class and 2020 class are comparable. 

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On 3/2/2020 at 9:24 AM, tangfoot said:

This has been the narrative since at least January 2019, but can we say that it is still true?  Athletically (based on combine numbers), the 2019 class blows away this year's.

You are right that the narrative has been that the 2019 WR is much better than 2018 or previous seasons going back to 2014 draft.

But you know that is just the story. For folks like us, you might hear this a few times a day every day and really that was the narrative in 2018 as well. Based on my impressions of peoples opinions of the 2018 draft class, I thought it was being under rated. It is the Chinese water torture of hearing this opinion over and over again and each time without much evidence or support of the opinion. Its just common knowledge because so many people have said it, its almost muscle reflex now.

I think you mean the 2018 class tested as more athletic than 2019 as an overall group? I haven't compared other numbers than the 40. The 2018 draft class did have more sub 4.4 times.

The next bit of information we will get about this will be the draft. Guys like the hair are saying 25 WR in the top 100. It wont surprise me if more draft capital is invested in the 2019 group than the 2018. The narrative suggests that it will.

How they end up performing for fantasy is another story altogether.

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I was referring to 2019 vs 2020, not 2019 vs 2018.

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2 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

It is 2020 isn't it? Glad we got that straight.

I will never not like a Lebowski reference. 

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10 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

Yahoo is still a thing? Huh.

The Yahoo brand is associated with being dated & left behind by other media/content providers; however, they have some decent writers including Eric Edholm, Charles Robinson, and Frank Schwab for their NFL and Draft articles.

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Draft Network analyst Benjamin Solak names Arisona State WR Brandon Aiyuk to his 2020 NFL Draft All-Risers Team.

Solak notes that his decision was difficult since fellow wide receivers Denzel Mims, Justin Jefferson and K.J. Hamler all boosted their respective stock. However since the criteria is which player improved his NFL Draft status the most over the past seven months, Aiyuk's rapid ascension stood out. Aiyuk (6'0/205) was widely unknown heading into 2019, having only caught 33 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns in 2018. Last season he emerged as a potent weapon for the Sun Devils offense, catching 65 passes for 1192 yards and eight touchdowns while elevating his profile on the national recruiting level. Aiyuk subsequently ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the combine and is a potential first-round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft.

SOURCE: The Draft Network

Apr 3, 2020, 12:57 PM ET

 

 

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NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk had successful core muscle surgery.

Rapoport added that teams have no concerns for recovery. The news is great timing for Aiyuk's chances at being a high-end selection on day two of the draft. Rotoworld's Hayden Winks described Aiyuk as, "A late-blooming playmaker as a receiver and returner with natural ability to win in space, making him a potential WR2 and return specialist in the NFL."

SOURCE: Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Apr 16, 2020, 10:01 AM ET

 

 

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Mel Kiper's latest mock has him going to the Vikings ... at #22 overall. (link is to a Vikes team site as Kiper's draft is paywalled)

I've been more bullish than the crowd on Aiyuk's draft prospects, but even I'd never have put him this high. Either Kiper is clickbaiting us (I know, unpossible, right?), or Condor's got himself some serious draft-scout quarantine buzz.

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Man I don’t know what the hype is with this kid. Granted I haven’t watched him very much and I’ll fix that before my drafts. His profile from a shallow view seems like he’s not particularly big or fast, questionable hands, late breakout age. 

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Speaking with The Athletic's Bob McGinn, one scout said "something clicked" for Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk midway through the 2019 season. 

In McGinn's annual poll of NFL execs and scouts, Aiyuk (6'0/205) placed fifth among wide receivers, falling behind CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and Justin Jefferson (in that order). One scout mentioned to McGinn that Aiyuk's "first three or four games this year it was kind of whatever," but that "something clicked" for the explosive stud after that and he ultimately turned in an impressive season. Though Aiyuk caught just 33 balls playing alongside N'Keal Harry in 2018, some scouts prefer Aiyuk's explosive nature to Harry's slower, catch-point oriented style. 

SOURCE: The Athletic

Apr 16, 2020, 1:15 PM ET

 

 

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Bleacher Report's Matt Miller reports that Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk (core) passed NFL medical checks.

Aiyuk (6'0/205) has been working his way back from core muscle surgery, but with medicals checking out, we're full steam ahead for a potential Day 2 selection. The Draft Network's Benjamin Solak earlier this spring bestowed a spot on his 2020 NFL Draft All-Risers Team to Aiyuk. As one scout told The Athletic's Bob McGinn, "something clicked" for the wideout during the fall campaign. Almost time to reap the rewards for the ASU standout.

SOURCE: Bleacher Report

Apr 17, 2020, 6:37 PM ET

 

 

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49ers traded up with the Vikings to select Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 49ers traded picks No. 31, 117 and 176 for the 25th-overall selection. Look for coach Kyle Shanahan to have plenty of fun scheming ways to get him the ball in space. After spending two years at JUCO, Aiyuk (5'11/205) transferred and played second fiddle (48 targets) to N’Keal Harry (114 targets) in 2018, eventually emerging with 1,192 receiving yards as the Sun Devils' go-to receiver once the latter left for the draft. There's concern in Aiyuk's transition to the league as PFF charted 70 percent of his yards occurring from three straight-line routes: screens (26%), posts (25%), and go-routes (19%). On tape, his arm length (33.5") and creativity with the ball in his hands are much clearer. He averaged an elite 11.1 yards after the catch but will need to run a wider variety of routes to be more than a complementary piece in any NFL offense. A 76th-percentile Adjusted SPARQ athlete with 4.50 40-speed, Aiyuk projects to compete for a starting job as a rookie. His natural playmaking ability as a returner will immediately win the favor of league coaches.

SOURCE: Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Apr 23, 2020, 11:16 PM ET

 

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So, how do we see Deebo and Aiyuk splitting up all five WR targets per game in this offense?

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1 hour ago, DAG said:

So, how do we see Deebo and Aiyuk splitting up all five WR targets per game in this offense?

Haha don’t know but it can’t be great for either fantasy wise. Still, have to take him very seriously now in rookie drafts - 1st round capital and they traded up to get him.

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1 hour ago, DAG said:

So, how do we see Deebo and Aiyuk splitting up all five WR targets per game in this offense?

Don't forget Kittle, this was not a favorable spot for a WR to land IMHO. 

Tex

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There's about 5-6 WR's I'd have taken over Aiyuk here

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42 minutes ago, BigTex said:

Don't forget Kittle, this was not a favorable spot for a WR to land IMHO. 

Tex

The joke was there are only 5 WR targets to go around, because of Kittle. 

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8 hours ago, RushHour said:

Haha don’t know but it can’t be great for either fantasy wise. Still, have to take him very seriously now in rookie drafts - 1st round capital and they traded up to get him.

In about 14 hours or so I hope to be able to keep him deep enough in the 2nd round to know I don't have to think about considering picking him. Shannahan will scheme him open then let him do his YAC thing a few times per game, but I'm skeptical he can be much more than that - and that Shanny will even task him with it.

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13 hours ago, BigTex said:

Don't forget Kittle, this was not a favorable spot for a WR to land IMHO. 

Tex

I think Shanny realized that to keep up with teams like KC theyre going to have to be able to score at a higher clip and move the ball through the air better. IDK if I like aiyuk that much with jimmy g throwing the ball, but maybe he has a plan lol

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23 minutes ago, Pwingles said:

I think Shanny realized that to keep up with teams like KC theyre going to have to be able to score at a higher clip and move the ball through the air better. IDK if I like aiyuk that much with jimmy g throwing the ball, but maybe he has a plan lol

I mean, I get it, but if that was your plan wouldn't you want the widest possible variety of offensive weapons to accomplish it?

But the Niners feel like they've spent an entire decade drafting WRs off the same blueprint - not real big, short-area, quick-twitch guys. Aiyuk, Deebo, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Bruce Ellington ... all the way back to A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton in 2012 or whatever. Like they're trying to build an army of Emmanuel Sanders clones without the things (hands and route-running) that make Sanders who he is. And it's not like that list of luminaries I just rattled off means they've somehow cornered the market on an inefficiency, either.

Drafting Aiyuk tells me the Dante Pettis Experiment is well and truly over, but I'm not sure it says much else.

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On 4/24/2020 at 12:32 PM, Mr. Irrelevant said:

I mean, I get it, but if that was your plan wouldn't you want the widest possible variety of offensive weapons to accomplish it?

But the Niners feel like they've spent an entire decade drafting WRs off the same blueprint - not real big, short-area, quick-twitch guys. Aiyuk, Deebo, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, Bruce Ellington ... all the way back to A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton in 2012 or whatever. Like they're trying to build an army of Emmanuel Sanders clones without the things (hands and route-running) that make Sanders who he is. And it's not like that list of luminaries I just rattled off means they've somehow cornered the market on an inefficiency, either.

Drafting Aiyuk tells me the Dante Pettis Experiment is well and truly over, but I'm not sure it says much else.

They're all different. Deebo and, to a lesser extent, Aiyuk have more strength and bulk than that group. I mean, AJ Jenkins? He was a toothpick. A strong wind would knock him off his route. These guys are cut from a different mold. They are more like Crabtree. Crabtree was the name that popped to mind as soon as I started watching Aiyuk, but Aiyuk isn't as bulky and doesn't have the same dominant contested-catch ability. I'd say he's the B+ version of Crabtree, with maybe more pure speed.

I don't think it was a bad pick by SF, but it's a curious one since there seems to be a lot of redundancy between his skill set and Deebo's. It might have made more sense to draft someone with a more contrasting style like Hamler, but I've been looking at the round 2-3 WRs and it does feel like there's a talent dropoff after Aiyuk. That might have been what compelled the Niners to leap up.

 

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Speaking to NBC Sports' Peter King, 49ers GM John Lynch stated WR Brandon Aiyuk and WR CeeDee Lamb's grades were “very evenly matched” ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 49ers passed on the chance to draft Lamb at No. 14 overall, and instead traded up from pick No. 31 to No. 25 to secure Aiyuk on their roster. Lynch outlined a conversation he had with head coach Kyle Shanahan two days before the draft, claiming it might "raise eyebrows," but he would be "perfectly happy" to select Aiyuk at their original draft slot at No. 13. Shanahan agreed. From a stylistic standpoint, it makes total sense as the 49ers roster George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Tevin Coleman, all top two at their position in average yards after the catch. Aiyuk averaged the sixth-most yards after the catch in college football last season. And in an added wrinkle, Aiyuk's former coach, Herm Edwards, is the godparent to one of Lynch's children. Surely that relationship and seamless line of communication paid off while completing background work. Ultimately, Aiyuk and Lamb will always be linked in the eyes of 49ers fans.

SOURCE: FMIA on NBC Sports

May 4, 2020, 1:00 PM ET

 

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Got him at 2.09 in FFPC, along with Edwards at 2.10. Mims had gone at 2.05, Higgins 2.02.

I agree with the notion that teams are responding to what they have seen from Kansas City and are looking to gather more weapons. Jimmy G could be a sleeper wait-on-QB pick this year.

I don't know what that means for fantasy, though, they're still a run first defensive team. Even if they open it up, and even if Aiyuk ascends past Deebo on the pecking order, how big of a pie can it possibly be? Tempered expectations at best. I like it more for SF in real football than anything else. Probably good for Jimmy.

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