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Brandon Aiyuk NFL draft profile and fantasy projection

The Sun Devils star receiver is poised to go late in the 1st round to mid-second round in the NFL Draft. Will he be a fantasy asset?

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the football en route to scoring on a 77 yard touchdown reception against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the second half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brandon Aiyuk lead the Sun Devils with 65 receptions for 1,192 yards (18.3 per) and eight touchdowns in 2019. He also returned both punts and kicks, with 14 returns for 226 yards, 16.1 average and one touchdown on punts and 14 returns for 446 yards, 31.9 average on kickoffs.

Scouting Report

Aiyuk started his collegiate career in Junior College and has shown marked improvement as his career progressed. He is still more of a big play threat than an all around receiver at this point and did most of his damage against zone coverage instead of man. Once into his route, Aiyuk has great acceleration and can manipulate defenders to get cushions for his big yards after the catch plays.

His main trouble, and it is concerning, is his ability to beat press coverage. He doesn’t have the technique or toughness to beat good coverage corners off the line and will need to improve in that area to be a longtime top starter in the NFL.

Aiyuk had core muscle surgery in early April, which could hurt his stock slightly, but this is an issue teams and scouts already knew about, so it could actually help that he is getting it taken care of now.

The positive aspect about Aiyuk is that every stop that he’s been on, he’s been able to get better while also dominating the competition. He demonstrated that same type of progress in high school, JUCO, and a similar type of path unfolded during his final season in Tempe. Now, entering the NFL, he’s once again forced with unlocking another layer to his development. An explosive option after the catch, but it’s everything before that where he needs to improve. Using his hands on releases, details in route stems, and at the top of his routes are where he must become better. — Jordan Reid, The Draft Network

Mock Draft Results

Mel Kiper, ESPN: 9th WR on his big board, late 1st/2nd round
Daniel Jeremiah, Saints, 1st round
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: Bears, 2nd round
Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: 49ers, 1st round

Fantasy impact: Rookie year

Aiyuk can start right away as long as a team doesn’t need him to be the do it all No. 1 receiver. He’ll likely be more of a deep threat early in his career, which should be possible with the right coaching. A team like the 49ers would be a great spot, as Kyle Shanahan is adept at using his players strengths in creative ways. As usual, his fantasy impact will depend on his landing spot, but he is currently too one-dimensional to bet on pre-draft for a strong rookie season.

Fantasy impact: Career

If Aiyuk doesn’t progress against man coverage, he’ll always be an inconsistent big play receiver, but he has the ability to grow, as he’s shown throughout college. He isn’t a player I’m high on for an immediate impact, but does have room to get better. That likely pushes him into the second round of dynasty rookie drafts for me.