Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk May Already be Better than Deebo Samuel

Levin T. Black
Aug 17, 2020 at 6:00 AM


Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers had a clear cut player atop the wide receiver depth chart all off-season in Deebo Samuel. If the returns from the first practices in training camp are an indication of what is to come in the 2020 season, Samuel may already be simply second best on the team.

Samuel had a successful rookie season in 2019. The second-round pick had things click in the second half of the season and ended up with 1,190 yards from scrimmage, including during the playoffs.

With 92 yards in the Super Bowl, Samuel was seen as a rising star in the NFL and very likely to have his first 1,000-yard receiving season this year. An injury has derailed the likelihood of that. Still, he's scheduled to be back in the first half of the season and all signs point to him picking up where he left off in 2019.

That may still happen but he might not find himself the WR getting the most attention from 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan nor the one opposing defenses are concentrating on stopping.

The 49ers took WR Brandon Aiyuk with the 25th pick in the first round in 2020 after an electric season at Arizona State University. The selection left Shanahan in a way that can be described as giddy.


The electricity he displayed in college showed up over the weekend in practice. Coming out of the locker room by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's side, the pair seems to have already formed a strong cohesion.

Aiyuk made some big plays and left the media on hand tweeting about how impressive he was. It was the story of the day on Sunday.


Is there too much being made of a few practices? Certainly possible. The hype train isn't just being driven by the media however. Shanahan himself praised the rookie.


Shanahan isn't the type to talk up an undeserving player. He has consistently criticized WR Dante Pettis for instance. For Shanahan to say what he did, Aiyuk must be impressing behind the scenes as well.

With Aiyuk's deep threat ability he's likely to get a lot of the routes Emmanuel Sanders ran last year. However, Aiyuk is also deadly once he has the ball. He averaged a dazzling 10.6 yards after the catch in his final year at ASU.

It's not hard to imagine Shanahan calling plays to get the ball into Aiyuk's hands quickly and then let the playmaker create. It's something that was done for Samuel often last year. With him out, Aiyuk has a chance to shine early.

It's possible he runs with the opportunity and is entrenched as the top receiver on the team by the time Samuel returns. If that scenario emerges, Samuel's return could be the cherry on top that pushes the 49ers offense into historic territory.

Until then, all aboard the Aiyuk bandwagon. There's still plenty of room but seats are likely to fill up fast.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Graziano explains what the salary cap increase means for Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers' future

By David Bonilla
Feb 26

NFL teams entered the offseason planning around a projected $242 million salary cap. However, the actual cap number for the upcoming season is about $13 million higher, set at $255.4 million. This increase is particularly beneficial for teams like the San Francisco 49ers, who most expected to do some financial juggling to be compliant. On Monday, during an interview on Bay Area radio station KNBR, ESPN's Dan Graziano discussed the implications of this unexpected increase for NFL teams. Do organizations budget for similar increases in future years or rely on past trends when projecting future numbers? Graziano also highlighted that agents are attempting to anticipate future scenarios. For those representing players like wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, the latest



John Lynch: 49ers want to keep Brandon Aiyuk around for a long time

By David Bonilla
Feb 27

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch addressed reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Naturally, he fielded a question regarding Brandon Aiyuk's contract situation amidst the unexpected $30.6 million increase in the salary cap. Lynch acknowledged that the significant salary cap increase was a welcome sight. However, he notes that every team benefits from the unprecedented cap increase, not just the 49ers. Aiyuk is entering his fifth NFL season and is currently slated to play on the team-exercised fifth-year option. Naturally, both parties are interested in working out a long-term deal that is financially beneficial for the player and the



Rapoport: 49ers expected to address Brandon Aiyuk contract extension after free agency

By David Bonilla
19 hrs

The San Francisco 49ers' tendency to sign their star players later rather than sooner may persist this offseason. Many teams are closely monitoring the developments regarding Brandon Aiyuk, waiting to see if the 49ers might entertain trading their young wide receiver. The team's previous contract extensions were typically finalized around the start of training camp, or, as was the case with defensive end Nick Bosa last year, just before the beginning of the regular season. The 49ers aren't expected to begin extensive work on Aiyuk's deal until after the free agency frenzy subsides. After the 49ers' Super Bowl defeat, when asked if he hopes to remain with the team, Aiyuk was noncommittal, responding,



With Brock Purdy's injury now behind him, 49ers GM John Lynch says QB can focus on "areas of improvement rather than just getting well"

By Marc Adams
Mar 2

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy had a remarkable 2023 season. It was his first full season as the starter, and Purdy did not disappoint, passing for 4,280 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also led the league in passer rating at 113.0. And Purdy became the 49ers' first Pro Bowl QB since Jeff Garcia was selected in 2002. Matt Maiocco, of NBC Sports Bay Area, recently sat down with 49ers GM John Lynch, for the latest episode of 49ers Talk. They talked about the season Purdy had, and how different this offseason is compared to last offseason, when Purdy was coming off a torn UCL suffered in the NFC Championship Game. There was plenty of speculation as to whether or not Purdy would play


Latest

More by Levin T. Black

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone