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49ers draft Florida WR Ricky Pearsall at No. 31 overall

Apr 25, 2024 at 8:46 PM


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The San Francisco 49ers selected Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

RELATED What to know about 49ers first-round pick Ricky Pearsall

College Statistics:
Pearsall registered 65 receptions for 965 yards and four touchdowns through 12 game appearances as a senior in 2023, per Sports Reference. Throughout his collegiate career, he caught 159 passes for 2,420 yards with 14 touchdowns over five seasons.

Statistical Rundown
Year School Class G Rec Yds Avg TD
2019 Arizona State FR 13 7 128 18.3 --
2020 Arizona State SO 4 6 86 14.3 1
2021 Arizona State JR 13 48 580 12.1 4
2022 Florida SR 13 33 661 20 5
2023 Florida SR 12 65 965 14.8 4
Total 159 2,420 15.2 14

Lance Zierlein's NFL.com scouting report:
Dependable slot target with good size and soft hands who will need to prove that he has the ability to free himself against NFL man coverage. Pearsall might get the stereotypical "crafty route runner" label, but it suits him. He appears to play with an idea of how to manipulate certain coverage looks and leverages. He also plays with attention to detail and a consistent route tempo to create windows, but lacks ideal foot quickness to beat press and maintain separation. While the hands are reliable, he's not physical enough to tilt contested catches in his favor and might have a ceiling of quality backup with punt-return value.

Lance Zierlein's Player Comparison:
Alex Erickson

NFL.com Draft Bio:
  • 2019 (Arizona State): Played in all 13 games as a reserve (7-128-18.3).
  • 2020 (Arizona State): Played in all four games with one start (6-86-14.3, TD receiving; 3-33-11.0, TD rushing).
  • 2021 (Arizona State): Played in all 13 games with 11 starts (48-580-12.1, 4 TDs receiving; 6-44-7.3, TD rushing).
  • 2022: Led the team with 661 receiving yards (33 receptions, 20.0 per), 5 receiving TDs. Played in all 13 games with 10 starts (8-113-14.1, TD rushing; 4-27-6.8 PR).
  • 2023: Led the team with 65 receptions, 965 receiving yards (14.9 per). Started all 12 games (3-62-20.7, 2 TDs rushing; 11-126-11.5 PR).
  • Father, Rick, played WR/KR at Northern Arizona. Mother, Erin, played volleyball at Northern Arizona.

Pre-Draft Grade:
Pearsall earned a pre-draft grade of 6.32 from NFL.com, which equates to an "eventual strong starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

Projection:
NFL.com projected Pearsall to be a second-round draft pick.

NFL Scouting Combine:
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Pearsall posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.41 seconds, a vertical jump of 42 inches, a broad jump of 10 feet, 9 inches, a 6.64-second three-cone drill time, 17 reps on the bench press, and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.05 seconds.

Measurements:
Pearsall is 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds. Additionally, he boasts an arm length of 30 7/8 inches and hands measuring 9 1/4 inches.

Hometown:
Chandler, AZ

Pro Football Focus Draft Profile:
Pearsall, a three-star recruit, also played safety in high school. He started his career at Arizona State before transferring to Florida in 2022. He is a projected slot receiver, and his slot skill set is about as good as one could hope. He is savvy and nuanced in his route running, winning in so many ways with a diverse route tree. His feet are quick and elusive, which allows him to be more of a vertical threat than his straight-line speed alone could create. He is also a very reliable hands catcher. He doesn't have rare flexibility for change of direction, but he makes up for it with how he sets up defenders.

Pro Football Focus Big Board:
Pearsall ranks 45th on Pro Football Focus' big board.

Pro Football Focus Grading:
Pearsall earned an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 77.2 in 2023.

NFL Draft Buzz Summary:
Ricky Pearsall presents as a versatile WR with a keen ability to patrol the middle of the field, despite some limitations in his deep speed. His prowess in making contested catches and executing intricate routes compensates for his lack of elite breakaway speed. Pearsall's value lies in his playmaking through savvy route running. In the draft, Pearsall projects as a solid Day 2 or Day 3 pick. His ceiling might not be sky-high due to a lack of explosiveness, but his knack for spectacular catches and adaptability - including special teams - make him a valuable asset. His fit seems optimal as a slot receiver in an 11-personnel setup, where his route-running acumen can be fully leveraged. The key for Pearsall at the next level is to bolster his play against press coverage and enhance his physicality. His route-running is top-notch, but his ability to handle contact at the line and mid-route needs refinement. With improvements in these areas, Pearsall could evolve into a consistent and crafty receiver, capable of making an impact in the NFL in a complementary role.

Dane Brugler's draft profile at The Athletic:
Though he can be outmuscled at times versus press or at the top of routes, he has Velcro hands and never shies from attacking throws that lead him into impending contact. Overall, Pearsall wasn't a home-run hitter on tape, but he is a reliable receiving option with the route quickness and ball skills to quickly become a favorite target for an NFL quarterback. He has the skill set and toughness to work inside or outside and return punts at the next level.

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