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Bucky Brooks explains why 49ers drafting Ricky Pearsall was a reaction to Super Bowl loss

May 11, 2024 at 7:40 AM

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NFL Network's Bucky Brooks believes Ricky Pearsall will open up opportunities for head coach Kyle Shanahan. He suggests that drafting the rookie was a response to the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl 58 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. During the "NFL Fantasy Football Show," Brooks stated that the rookie wide receiver will address some issues the 49ers offense faced against man coverage.

"I think it's a direct reaction to the Super Bowl," Brooks declared.

Confidently entering the game, the 49ers believed they had a solid game plan for the Chiefs, who had previously defeated them in the Super Bowl only four years earlier. However, once again, Shanahan had to walk away from the game after yet another gut-wrenching defeat.

"But he also walked away knowing that now that we lost this game like this, everybody's going to play us the same way, meaning everyone's going to play man-to-man against the 49ers because man-to-man took away the layups that were going to Brock Purdy," Brooks explained. "That first quarter, when they went up and down the field, they were hitting the middle of the seam or whatever. Kansas City quickly switched to man and said, 'Hey, we got to take away these.'

"And what happened is they found that Deebo Samuel couldn't get open against man coverage. Brandon Aiyuk didn't get the production. He was getting open, but he didn't get the production."

This realization led the 49ers to add yet another weapon to an already talented wide receiver room. While most expected the team to address the offensive line with the No. 31 overall pick, San Francisco opted for Pearsall.

"Well, Kyle Shanahan wanted another route runner to fill out the wide receiver corps," Brooks continued. "That's Ricky Pearsall. So now, when they play those teams that attempt to play man-to-man, they're going to have more options because, remember, it wasn't even Kansas City. If you go back and look at Cleveland, Cleveland stopped the Niners offense because they played man-to-man on like 60 percent of their snaps.

"Shanahan is anticipating facing more man-to-man. He wanted a route runner. Ricky Pearsall is a route runner. That's why he wanted to take him early."
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