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NFL exec praises 49ers’ Ricky Pearsall pick; Another believes Deebo Samuel is out next year

May 2, 2024 at 9:15 AM

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Mike Sando of The Athletic frequently taps into the insights of NFL executives across the league to gather intel and opinions on NFL developments, the latest being the 2024 NFL Draft. In his recent discussions with NFL executives about the San Francisco 49ers, the spotlight was on the wide receiver position.

One unnamed NFL executive praised the 49ers' choice of wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 overall pick.

"We loved that receiver," the executive told Sando. "The first round is probably a little high for him, but if they want the fifth-year option with him, fine."

That's an interesting perspective that has yet to receive much attention regarding Pearsall's selection. First-round picks come with a team option for a fifth year, which applies to Pearsall. If he lives up to the team's expectations, this option could keep him on the roster longer than a receiver chosen in later rounds.

"He is going to be a great piece for Kyle (Shanahan) because this guy can double up at the top of the break and not lose any speed in the speed turn," another executive said. "And it covers San Francisco if they move Aiyuk or Deebo."

Regarding Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, it appears both will remain with the 49ers through the 2024 season. Any potential trades involving either player would likely have occurred before or during the draft.

However, the future is uncertain for one of these players. For Aiyuk, much hinges on whether the 49ers can secure a contract extension for their talented star player this offseason. If that happens, Samuel is the likelier candidate for a roster move.

"They may have to cut or trade Deebo after the season," an unnamed NFL executive told Sando. "I don't know why you would mess with a good thing now, especially if you are not going to get equity. If they could have traded somebody for a first-round pick like they did with DeForest Buckner, they would have done that."

Following Pearsall's selection, Dianna Russini of The Athletic asked Samuel to share his thoughts on the 49ers drafting his potential replacement and the reports of trade discussions during the draft.

"I know what's going on, but it is what it is," Samuel responded. "I'm good staying with them. I'm chilling."
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