Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk

Brandon Aiyuk would bring the YAC back to Green Bay

  • Arizona State University
  • Brandon Aiyuk
  • Green Bay Packers
  • NFl Draft
By brupp March 19, 2020 0 Comment
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The Green Bay Packers offense desperately needs wide receiver help outside of Devonta Adams. Could Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk be the answer?

In 2019, the Green Bay Packers won the NFC North by going 13-3 and went 6-0 within the division. They had a first-round bye in the playoffs and lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game. Not a terrible first season in the Matt LaFleur era.

The Packers accomplished all that with Aaron Rodgers throwing to Davante Adams and the funky bunch. Aside from Adams, a former second-round pick, Green Bay’s wide receiver corps consisted of a former fifth-round pick and three former undrafted free agents.

It was a group that could not make things happen after the catch. Outside of Adams, there was nobody that could make a man miss in the open field. For a team that was consistently talked about as having one of the best wide receiver corps in the NFL during the Rodgers era, this group may have been one of the worst this past season.

NFL Draft prospect Brandon Aiyuk could be the answer for the Packers

This year’s draft will give general manager Brian Gutekunst a chance to restock the talent inside the wide receiver cupboard at 1265 Lombardi Avenue. One prospect that could be on Green Bay’s radar is Brandon Aiyuk, the wide receiver out of Arizona State University.

Aiyuk was a junior college transfer from Sierra College. During his first season on campus as a Sun Devil, he finished with 474 yards and three touchdowns. With N’Keal Harry out of the picture, Aiyuk became the focal point of the Sun Devil’s aerial attack this past season. He responded by hauling in 65 receptions for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. Not too shabby, considering he was playing with a true freshman as the starting quarterback.

Aiyuk’s greatest strength is his ability to create after the catch. He’s a YAC monster. According to Pro Football Focus, Aiyuk averaged 9.9 yards after the catch during his two-year stint with the Sun Devils. This draft class has a lot of talent at the wide receiver position, and Aiyuk may be the best big-play threat.

Aiyuk is a playmaker at every level. He has the quickness and creativity after the catch to turn a seven-yard slant into a 70-yard touchdown. He has the speed and leaping ability (40 inch vertical) to take the top off the defense.

Interview with Ryan Roberts of Draft Bible

“Aiyuk may have been a pterodactyl in another life,” Ryan Roberts, the scouting coordinator for Draft Bible said. “His catch radius is insane. He creates easy separation with his length down the field. In post catch situations, the kid is super explosive in short areas. He destroys angles at a high degree.”

As a senior, Aiyuk’s route running improved from his 2018 tape. It’s an area of his game that Roberts says still needs some work.

“His route running can still be a work I progress,” he said. “Aiyuk needs higher attention to detail at the top of his routes. He is not nearly as explosive as a route runner as he is in post catch situations. The tools are there to work with, however.”

The biggest red flag in Aiyuk’s game is his ability to get off press coverage. Just like his route running, he improved in that department as a senior, but it’s still an area of concern.

“Getting off of press coverage by a landslide,” Roberts said. “He doesn’t do a great job counteracting physicality at the point of contact. Aiyuk gets stuck way too often at the line.”

Brandon Aiyuk is exactly what the Packers offense is missing

Aiyuk played in an offense at Arizona State that was designed to get the ball into his hands quickly (screens, underneath routes) to utilize his rare playmaking ability. That’s where Aiyuk will make his mark during his rookie season. There is no player in this draft that can match him with his catch and go ability.

That playmaking ability is a reason why he’s a match made in heaven for the Packers. If Aiyuk happens to be on the board when Green Bay is on the clock with the 30th overall pick, Gutekunst would be hard-pressed to pass up the opportunity to give Rodgers a bonafide playmaker.

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