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49ers rookie Ricky Pearsall sends clear message to critics

May 23, 2024 at 2:00 PM

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Gilberto Manzano of Sports Illustrated caught up with San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Ricky Pearsall at last week's NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. This was before the first-year player reported this week to Santa Clara for organized team activities (OTAs).

During the multi-day event in Southern California, invited NFL rookies had the chance to hold their first rookie cards, printed on the spot during photography sessions at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

For Pearsall, some question the future value of that souvenir, criticizing the 49ers for selecting the former Florida receiver with the No. 31 overall pick—a move pundits labeled as a reach.

Pearsall aims to prove his critics wrong, telling Manzano, "We're going to make it valuable. We gotta do that with the play on the field when it comes to business time."

Pearsall couldn't have predicted where or when he would be drafted. His agent warned him about the event's unpredictability. However, Pearsall admits that he feels he landed in a perfect situation after getting to know his coaches and some of his new teammates.

"Just seeing how they run certain things, it's like, yeah, that's a program I definitely see myself in and see myself with all those coaches. We just think alike," Pearsall stated.

The rookie understands his situation, acknowledging the talented wide receiver room he joined. Pearsall sees it as a challenge and is grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many successful players.

When asked about analysts' surprise regarding how early he was drafted, Pearsall responded, "That definitely made me feel good because there were a lot of people questioning the pick, but that's O.K. That's some noise I gotta block out because at the end of the day, I couldn't care less of what anybody thinks of me—and that's my personality and that's how I walk around. You either like me or you don't, but I'm going to be myself no matter what."

He added, "I really don't pay attention to that stuff, but to see Brandon Aiyuk say something encouraging to me, who's a teammate of mine, a friend of mine, and he's having success at a high level, it's definitely encouraging for me to see that."
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