The 2020 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future and The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects. Here is the Brandon Aiyuk 2020 NFL Draft profile.
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 6-foot, 205 pounds
2019 stats: 65 receptions, 1,192 receiving yards, eight touchdown catches, 18.3 yards per catch
Aiyuk is one of a handful of players that started their college careers off at a junior college and worked their way into being a solid player for the NFL to evaluate. Following two years in JUCO and two years at Arizona State, Aiyuk has had a good college career as he prepares for the next level.
His college career started at Sierra College. He totaled 2,499 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns in two seasons in JUCO. Aiyuk’s play had him ranked as the 11th best JUCO receiver recuit in the country according to ESPN. He made the decision to go to Arizona State and played the last two seasons under Herm Edwards. In 2018, Aiyuk’s first season as a Sun Devil, he totaled 33 catches, 474 receiving yards and three touchdowns. The team went 7-6 that year and lost to Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl to end the year. This season, Aiyuk had 65 catches for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns as Arizona State won eight games, including the Sun Bowl over Florida State.
After his unique college career, Aiyuk has exhausted his eligibility and is prepping for a life in pro football. He is projected to be selected within the first two days of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Aiyuk is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Once he catches the ball, he has good quickness, agility and wiggle to make defenders miss. He almost always picks up a lot of yards after the catch. This comes into play when he is line up as a wide receiver, where he averaged 18.3 yards per catch this season, or when he is returning kicks. The team that drafts him will want to find a way to get the ball in Aiyuk’s hands and let him make something happen.
His route-running is excellent. He didn’t run the widest variety of routes at Arizona State, so he’ll have to add more in the NFL, but he ran them well. His quickness and speed help him create separation, but because his route-running is so crisp and clean, it makes him even harder to keep up with. This includes finding the soft spot against zone defense. Getting open shouldn’t be a problem for Aiyuk. He also has good releases at the line of scrimmage.
He is a good athlete for a wide receiver. His speed, quickness and jumping ability helps him do a variety of things. As already mentioned, he is great at running after the catch. He also uses his speed and quickness to separate and can use his jumping ability to extend his catch radius. Aiyuk can be a vertical threat as well, which will open things up underneath for his teammates.
His ability to add strength to his frame will be crucial. This will help him beat press coverage, battle with defensive backs downfield and sustain blocks longer in the running game. He can struggle with physical coverage at the line of scrimmage and downfield at the moment because of his lack of play strength.
While he does have solid hands, Aiyuk did have a few drops this season. Some of these were focus drops, which he will have to clean up as soon as possible. He also struggled with contested catches. With added strength, he can win more 50-50 balls, but he also needs to maintain focus to make catches in traffic.
A unique weakness to Aiyuk is that a lot of times he wasn’t prepared for the ball to come his way. There was some miscommunication with the quarterback, but other times Aiyuk would break out of his route and not be ready for the ball. He needs to play as if he were getting the ball every play in order to be a better player.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Third Round Pick
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