Few wide receivers improved their stock for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft as much last year as Brandon Aiyuk. A complementary target for Arizona State in 2018 with N'Keal Harry claiming the spotlight, Aiyuk thrived in his one season as the No. 1 option. He's now positioned to parlay his breakout campaign into being an early-round draft pick, possible as early as the first. He's still rough around the edges when it comes to the technical points of playing the position, but there's no question he's a big-time talent in a draft class full of them.
Brandon Aiyuk Draft Profile
College: Arizona State
Stepping into a featured role with N’Keal Harry off to the NFL, Aiyuk emerged as a true star in his own right. He’s fast, physical and ultra-competitive, college football’s best receiver when it comes to running after the catch. Once the ball is in his hands, he’s a twitched-up mover with the ability to string together moves and slip multiple tackles, to go along with the vision and creativity of a running back. He showed signs of becoming a more complete receiver during his senior year. He has the long speed to threaten downfield and the leaping skills and competitive nature to win contested-catch situations despite not being the biggest receiver. He showed a better understanding of route running as a senior, with crisper footwork and a better feel for route stems, combining with his athleticism to allow him to create separation consistently. He offers value as a return specialist as well.
A junior college transfer, Aiyuk is still a bit raw when it comes to some of the nuances of the position. He ran a fairly limited route tree at ASU and has to become more consistent escaping press coverage. Physically, he’s not a particularly big receiver and might have a significantly lower success rate in contested-catch scenarios. He failed a physical before the Senior Bowl, and medicals might become an issue during the pre-draft process.
He’s a big-time talent who is ascending rapidly, and while Aiyuk might not hit his ceiling for a couple years, he has true No. 1 potential as a big-time catch-and-run threat and emerging deep threat. In the meantime, he should thrive as a complementary offensive weapon and return specialist.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round