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Greg Cosell makes intriguing comparison for 49ers rookie Ricky Pearsall

Jun 2, 2024 at 1:22 PM

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When you think of San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, the first comparison that comes to mind probably isn't Brandon Aiyuk. That is if any comparison comes to mind at all. Most casual fans likely weren't familiar with Pearsall when the 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in this year's draft.

Analysts didn't anticipate the Florida product being a first-round pick. Dane Brugler of The Athletic had Pearsall ranked ninth among wide receivers in his pre-draft assessment, expecting him to be chosen in the second or third round rather than the sixth receiver off the board.

However, NFL Matchup analyst Greg Cosell sees potential in Pearsall. Cosell was impressed by the young receiver's skill set during his pre-draft evaluation. When asked for a comparison, Cosell provided an intriguing response.

"I would think, and I liked Pearsall coming out, I would think he's more in line of an Aiyuk type," Cosell recently stated on the Ross Tucker Podcast. "You know, he's bigger than you think. I think when a lot of people look at him, they probably think, oh, slot receiver, 5-11, six feet. He's 6-1 plus, and he's got good speed. He separated well. I like Pearsall's tape a lot coming out of Florida."

In addition to being just over 6-1, Pearsall weighed in at 189 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. By comparison, Aiyuk is listed at 6-0 and 200 pounds on the 49ers' official website.

While some may view Pearsall as primarily a slot receiver, and that could be where he begins his NFL career, Cosell suggests that he could develop into a player similar to Aiyuk for San Francisco.

As the 49ers face potentially difficult wide receiver decisions next year, including the possibility of Deebo Samuel's departure, the forward-thinking team may view Pearsall as a starting-caliber wideout.

Pearsall's physical style of play impressed head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. It's a trait the 49ers covet in their offensive playmakers.

"There's not one play that you see him turn something down," Shanahan said after drafting Pearsall. "He's going to go over the middle and do everything he can to catch that ball and not worry about anything else. When he is on the sidelines, he's not taking the easy way out. He makes guys tackle him. He is not looking for a place to fall. And when he doesn't have the ball, he plays just as hard when the ball's not in his hands."

Lynch added, "He's equipped to take those hits almost like he likes the physicality of the game. He enjoys run blocking, our kind of style."
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