Fearless Forecast: 964 TOTAL YDS, 69 REC, 7 TD
Projected Rank: 38
MATT HARMON: Man, I know I told so many people last year to draft Brandon Aiyuk. And the early part of the season, it was crushing having him basically not even playing, barely being involved in the offense. We didn't see this whole Shanahan doghouse thing coming. But I'm all the way back in this year. I mean, come on. Also, by the way, this was a top 20 producer at the wide receiver position from week eight on. And that's pretty much when you can track based on snap counts, routes run, and everything that he was kind of back in the offensive good graces.
Kyle Shanahan has said he's worked hard. No more questions about Brandon Aiyuk in the doghouse. That is done. And really, when you highlight those weeks last year, a top 20 receiver, that's actually ahead of where you probably drafted him this year. So I think Brandon Aiyuk showed us last year he's good. He's an integral part of this offense. And I firmly believe that Trey Lance, if he hits, is an upgrade for Brandon Aiyuk.
We know that Trey Lance in his one full start actually in a real offense against the Texans, he averaged more air yards per pass attempt than any 49ers quarterback in the Kyle Shanahan era. He actually unloaded a go route to Brandon Aiyuk. Those passes down the sideline, outside the numbers, deep down the field, that's going to be the place that Brandon Aiyuk shines. Man, I'm all the way back in on this player. I never really lost faith. But I think he's a guy that could be sort of a steal, even if the volatility is going to be there in a run-heavy offense. I think he could be kind of a steal later on in the draft. Right now, I've got him for just over 900 yards and 7 touchdowns. And he's my wide receiver 38.