When the 49ers selected Brandon Aiyuk in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they did so with the vision of seeing the Arizona State product become a No. 1 wide receiver.
The 24-year-old is heading into his third season in the NFL and for cornerback Charvarius Ward, Aiyuk is on the path to becoming the top target on the team.
"BA got the potential to be one of those great receivers," Ward told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on the latest edition of 49ers Talk. "Like, he can be a real wide receiver No. 1 that can run routes, go balls. He can catch slants. Short passes, everything ... He's got to continue to work on his game."
During the 2021 NFL season, Aiyuk improved upon the rookie year numbers regarding receiving yards, going from 748 in 2020 to 826. Additionally, the 49ers' wide receiver has had five touchdown campaigns in back-to-back seasons.
With Deebo Samuel drawing most of the attention from defenses, it allows Aiyuk to see coverage that he can take advantage of this upcoming 2022 NFL season.
Furthermore, it will be interesting to see the effect that quarterback Trey Lance can have on Aiyuk as the 23-year-old takes over under center and whether the change will benefit the wide receiver.