#8 Overall Wide Receiver by Football Addicts
Born: March 17th, 1998 (21 Years Old)
Weight: 206 Lbs
Position: Wide Receiver
University: Arizona State
Brandon would grow up in Reno, Nevada and attend Robert McQueen Highschool. While he was good enough to be an honorable mention for an All-State selection as a senior, he had to take the junior college route to get to Arizona State. He would attend Sierra College, and record nearly 2,500 all purpose yards in his first two seasons, along with being named a Junior College All-American as a sophomore. After announcing he would transfer, Aiyuk received offers from Colorado State, Tennessee, and even Alabama, but committed to Arizona State because it was one of the only schools that recruited him as a wide receiver instead of just a return specialist.
Making the jump from Junior College ball, to the Pac-12, isn’t simple but Brandon would settle in by the end of the season. In 2018 he would finish second in receiving yards behind N’Keal Harry with 474 yards. His season totals would be 33 catches for 474 yards and three touchdowns with another 339 yards on 15 kick returns. Arizona State would be led by first year head coach Herm Edwards, and finish 7-6 in the Pac-12 South. They would be invited to the Las Vegas Bowl where they would face off against No. 18 Fresno State, and Aiyuk would record a season high nine catches.
In 2019 Aiyuk would more than double his production with N’Keal gone to the Patriots. He would record 65 receptions for 1,192 yards, eight receiving touchdowns and another 672 yards and a touchdown in the return game. Against Oregon State Brandon would grab 10 receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown, and 293 all-purpose yards which is 5th in school history. This would be good enough for a spot on the All Pac-12 First Team as a receiver and return specialist. Arizona State would finish 8-5 on the season, and end the year with a 20-14 victory of Florida State in the Sun Bowl.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Aiyuk has speed that will take the top off a defense. Cornerbacks struggle to adjust to his straight line speed, and has quick feet to turn a small slant into a 50 yard touchdown. The feet also make him a good route runner, and allow him to create space with quick cuts.
Keeps his balance after contact. Is a weapon on special teams as a returner. The Sun Devils lined him up all over the field, threw him all kinds of passes, and typically was successful with them. At the end of the day he is just great with the ball in his hands. His vision is extraordinary and
Doesn’t have the strongest of hands. There is a few times where the ball just bounces off or goes through his fingers. Not too willing of a blocker nor physical enough to really do much anyway.
On special teams Aiyuk tends to take risks and not call the fair catch with a defender coming right for him. In the NFL that speed might be kicked up a little bit, which is something he will have to adjust to. The risk vs reward will get even larger at the next level.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Player Comp
NFL Draft Projection
Brandon Aiyuk is going to be one of the receivers that suffer from a strong draft class. He has plenty of talent to be in the 1st round, and some even think he can squeak into the 1st. Personally I think he will be a Day 2 receiver that will offer tons of value for a franchise. Think Diontae Johnson or D.K. Metcalf from last year’s draft class.
I have Brandon going 51st to the Dallas Cowboys, which makes sense considering he is my 51st overall player on my NFL Big Board. Dallas lacks a true No. 2 receiver, and have Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb to resign this off season. Mike McCarthy is an offensive mind, and is going to need more receiving threats for this offense to work out. Even with resigning Amari Cooper, Aiyuk brings speed and play making ability that the Cowboys simply lack currently.
NFL Player Comp
There are a lot of receivers I think of when watching Brandon’s tape. He fits the mold of your DeSean Jackson/Nelson Agholor type of player, who will give you blazing speed and a floor of a solid return man.
DeSean Jackson would be someone I think could be Aiyuks ceiling, because of his run after the catch skills and how he can just run past any coverage. He doesn’t have the strongest hands I’ve ever seen though. This is what makes me think Nelson Agholor, who has been known to have suspect catching.