Name: Brandon Aiyuk
School: Arizona State
Weight: 206 Lbs
Brandon Aiyuk was a RB & DB throughout HS and transitioned to WR his 1st year of Juco football. He then transferred to Arizona State where finished his Junior and Senior season as a Sun Devil. Aiyuk was #2 in the Pac-12 in receiving yards in 2019 with 1192 yards. He was #3 in the Pac-12 in Punt Return yards with 226 and led the Pac-12 in yards per punt return(16.1) and punt return TDs(1).
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Aiyuk is not only a legitimate playmaker, he is a legitimate WR. It’s not very often you see that combo in a player yet to hit the NFL. Brandon is a home run threat anytime he touches the ball and will be a welcome addition to any offense at the next level.
Release Vs. Press: Very quick/fast. Gets off the ball well and usually gets to the outside of the DBs shoulder before he has a chance to jam/press or mirror.
Route Running: For a prospect who only has 4 years of WR experience under his belt he impresses with his route running. Brandon still has room to grow and expand his route tree but he flashes at times with his ability to throw defenders off on intermediate routes(ex. 2019 Vs. Oregon he ran a crispy Z out(2nd quarter, 2:20 remaining). Aiyuk ran a very nice back shoulder fade against press coverage with an outside release vs. Oregon St. in 2019(10:50/1st QTR)
He is very fast and agile and demands respect athletically from anyone who will be lining up opposite of him. As he works at the position, he should be able to use his athleticism as well as his skill to make him an even more dynamic player at the next level.
Run After Catch: Aiyuk is very fast. Once the football is in his hands, he transitions from Brandon the WR to Brandon the RB. You can tell he truly enjoys and excels at running with the ball when given the opportunity. He does a good job of getting small at the point of contact and limiting the space in which a defender has to hit him. He uses this to avoid contact while also keeping his full forward momentum.
Hands/Body Adjustment: While running deep routes, at times he turns back for the football instead of decelerating or just allowing the ball to come in over his shoulder. With more reps, he should get more comfortable with this. Extends well for balls above his head.
Blocking: Not going to go out of his way to find work if the ball isn’t expected to come to his side of the field. If the ball comes his direction, he will try and stick his nose in there. He’s a lunger.
Play Making Ability: Once N’Keal Harry left Arizona State, Aiyuk became THE GUY. He flashed his play making ability as a special teams returner and as a receiver. Aiyuk will make defensive backs who bite on the double move pay, he gets up field quickly when running vertical routes. 1:40 left in the 4th quarter down 7 vs. Oregon St., after carrying the team down the field with play after play he gets hit on a slant route from 10 yards out to the 3 yard line, gets wrapped by the defender and fully extends into the end zone for a TD.
I can see Aiyuk becoming a very popular name by the time the NFL Combine has came and went. He is going to show very well which will bring eyes to his tape. Once people see how his athleticism translates to his film they will move him up their board.
He is still so new to the position of WR & I believe his best football is still ahead of him. I do not know how long it will take for him to refine his route running ability and to understand the nuances of his new offense but I do know that when he does, he will be dangerous.
Projected Draft Round: 2nd-4th
Question Mark: Junior college transfer who only played 2 seasons at college football’s top level. The Senior Bowl will be a great test for him as we will get to see him side by side with other top senior prospects at his position.
Comp: Randall Cobb, Sterling Shepard, Curtis Samuel
Team Fit: Miami Dolphins, LA Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans