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Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Where the 49ers landed in PFF’s WR ranking

Jun 20, 2024 at 7:49 AM

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The San Francisco 49ers may face some difficult decisions next offseason. For now, the team has the salary cap space to keep its core of talented wideouts together for one more Super Bowl run, assuming they can agree on a contract extension with Brandon Aiyuk. Currently, the two sides remain at a standoff in the negotiation process.

Returning with Aiyuk this season are Deebo Samuel and Jauan Jennings, the latter recently signing his own contract extension. They are also bolstered by newcomer Ricky Pearsall, the No. 31 overall pick in this year's draft.

Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently assessed each NFL team and ranked the 32 wide receiver corps heading into the 2024 season. Like the 49ers' running back group, their wide receiver unit claimed the top spot.

"No pass-catching unit can stack up with the 49ers' receiving talent," Sikkema explained. "Not only do they have wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, both top-10 players in PFF's receiver rankings heading into the season, but they also have George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey to lean on in the passing game."

Aiyuk was ranked No. 8 in the analytics site's recent top 32 receivers list, with Samuel close behind at No. 10.

"A devastating route runner and explosive threat, Brandon Aiyuk is one of the most efficient receivers in the game whose overall numbers are held back only by the offense he plays in and the sheer quantity of other options within it," commented Sam Monson. "Passes thrown his way last season generated a 126.8 passer rating."

Monson admitted that Samuel was among the more challenging players to rank because of his unique skill set.

"Part running back, part receiver and all playmaker, he led the league with 32 broken tackles last year, 10 more than any other receiver," Monson shared. "His absences from the lineup due to injury also coincided with the 49ers' biggest wobbles during the season."

Aiyuk and Samuel combined for 2,459 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns, just two scores short of McCaffrey's 21.

"San Francisco easily earned the best team receiving grade in 2023, at 91.0, with no other club eclipsing 86.0," Sikkema continued. "Throw in Jauan Jennings and rookie Ricky Pearsall, and it feels like the 49ers are stocked with an embarrassment of receiving riches."
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