San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch was KNBR Tuesday morning, and when the conversation about first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk came up, Lynch said the team was “invested heavily” in scouting Patriots first-round wide receiver in 2019, N’Keal Harry. Lynch said the 49ers “kept seeing the other guy,” who was Brandon Aiyuk. Lynch went full draftnik when talking about Ayiuk:
“When you talk about the measurables, he’s in the 95th percentile in terms of his wingspan, his vertical jump, his 10-[yard] time… that’s the short-area explosiveness. And then the other testing: the intelligence testing, the strength of character and all that, he was off the charts. So you combine all that. He and CeeDee Lamb were our two highest-rated receivers at the end of the day, and we had them almost dead even. I think with Brandon, the one thing we thought you had, you had a guy who could separate in routes. He had that quickness, that ability to get away from corners.
In today’s football, more than ever, we see it. We saw it in the Super Bowl with Kansas City, these teams are holding. They’re getting up and jamming you, it’s like the old school football, and they’re just saying they can’t call holding every play, so you need strong players that can kind of bust through that coverage, but you also don’t want to lose that separation.”
That gives you an idea fo Lynch’s train of thought. That wasn’t the only time he referenced the Super Bowl, either. Lynch referenced Aiyuk’s length as a benefit to catch overthrows. Lynch also mentioned his buddy Herm Edwards told him Ayiuk is a 4.3 guy, not a 4.5 guy:
“And Brandon, we kept discovering, had that combination of the speed, the rare length, I mean he’s like Inspector Gadget sticking his arms out for these balls,” Lynch said. “It looks like it’s overthrown and then boom, he throws out those 33 1/2″ arms. And he never got caught. He ran a 4.5 at the Combine, which isn’t blazing fast, but the film showed a much faster player,” Lynch said. “And then you talk to Herm Edwards, and he goes, as you can imagine, ‘Oh Lynchburg, he’s not 4.5, he’s 4.3 all day long. Trust your coach, trust your coach, Lynchburg.’ And then he spoke to what kind of guy Brandon was and what kind of competitor and we really wanted him.”
Lynchburg is a strong nickname, by the way. Aiyuk certainly doesn’t play like a guy that runs a 4.5. As Lynch said, Aiyuk never got caught. I likened Aiyuk’s time someone that can roll out of bed and run fast. He wasn’t one of these prospects that were training how to run and counting his strides during the 40-yard dash. Justin Jefferson ran a 4.42 40. Go watch LSU and show me where Jefferson looks faster than Aiyuk.
If the Patriots didn’t take N’Keal Harry, the 49ers would have. KNBR noted that Edwards and his wife are the godparents of Lynch’s daughter Leah and John and his wife Linda are the godparents of Herm’s son Marcus. ASU is the new Stanford. We’ll breakdown a few routes from Aiyuk to show exactly what Lynch was referring to later this week.