Going into pick #25, the Minnesota Vikings were on the clock until San Francisco made a surprise trade-up. They sent #31, #117 (just acquired in the trade with Tampa Bay), and #176 to Minnesota to jump up to get their guy.
With the 25th pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers select….Brandon Aiyuk, WR from Arizona State. After passing on Jeudy and Lamb at #14, the 49ers added another weapon for QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Aiyuk is a Kyle Shanahan guy. He specializes in yards after the catch and runs with a physicality similar to what you see from Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. He’s got the necessary speed to separate on 9 routes, which is something that San Francisco was missing last season with Marquise Goodwin’s odd decline from the team (and a reason Ruggs was often mocked to the 49ers). Kyle likes his WRs to have a “dog mentality” and expects solid blocking. He’s willing to contribute to the run and is very competitive. Aiyuk could be the missing piece from the San Francisco passing game that was absent during the playoffs. The analysts kept touting his “massive 81-inch wingspan” for a guy who is just about 5’11”.
From a fantasy perspective, Aiyuk could find himself as the #1 WR on the 49ers but they would need to start focusing on the pass much more than last year for him to become a difference-maker on your team. WR1 isn’t realistic without massive changes to the offensive scheme. Aiyuk is realistically in the WR3 range for his rookie year but could have WR2 upside.
The 49ers addressed two of their biggest needs with pick #14 and pick #25 but will not be picking again until #156 in the 5th round, barring some type of trade-up (likely involving a pick and a player).