In what will be my last prospect analysis article before the draft, I saved a favorite prospect who continually impressed me with his play. His upfield speed and vision with the ball in his hands makes him a threat every time he touches the ball. His stature will allow him to take on any sized NFL cornerback lined up across from him, and eventually find success as he gets further acclimated into life in the NFL.
The Ravens are almost certainly in the market for at least one wide receiver in this year’s NFL Draft, and they could pull the trigger as early as the first round. In terms of Aiyuk’s draft stock, some mock drafts have him landing as early as the 21st pick, which the Eagles hold (and they like Aiyuk, too). At the same time, some see him as a firm second round wide receiver.
Aiyuk recently underwent core muscle surgery; however, that should not be of great concern for teams as Aiyuk should be fully healed and prepared for training camp.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
2019 stats: 65 receptions, 1,192 yards, 8 TDs, 18.3 YPR, 9.9 YAC
Aiyuk absolutely took off in his senior year and ranked 2nd in receiving yards in the Pac-12, behind Michael Pittman Jr. Aiyuk’s 18.3 average yards-per-reception ranked 3rd in the conference. Aside from putting up elite stats, Aiyuk has all of the tools needed to be a successful pro. It would be nice for more Pac-12 wide receivers like Aiyuk to find success in the NFL, but schematic differences and little emphasis on press coverage within Pac-12 defenses are often the main deficiencies for receivers when entering the league.
- Supreme athleticism, it really shows on the field and at the combine
- Tremendous acceleration with the ball in his hands; goes from 0-100 very quickly
- Has strong hands to pluck the football out of the air
- Terrorized cornerbacks while in off-man coverage
- Subtle feet to deceive corners on where he is going
- Runs fast and hard in his routes; he is often tough to press because of this
- Large catch radius with his 33 1⁄2 inch arms
- His YPR and YAC averages show his vision and ability to find open space for himself
- Was a menace when returning kicks and punts
- Always runs 100%
- Will need to develop his raw but promising route-running abilities
- Did not run the most extensive route tree at ASU
- Is a leaner wide receiver and will need to gain more functional strength to take on NFL press corners
- Needs to stack and separate better on vertical routes
- Was reliant on screens to gain yardage, which were big part of the ASU offense
- Had trouble catching in traffic
Floor Comparison: Anthony Miller
Ceiling Comparison: A.J. Brown
How Aiyuk fits on the Ravens:
Aiyuk would be another athletic piece to an already freakishly-athletic offense. Aiyuk would be a nice complement to Marquise Brown. His solid hands, open field abilities, and nose for the first-down marker will earn him early playing time. Although I don’t foresee Aiyuk supplanting Miles Boykin as the second receiver in the early stages of the season, he will see more opportunities down the stretch. It could take him a little time, but the talent is definitely there.