The 49ers' No. 25 overall pick in the NFL Draft, Brandon Aiyuk, shocked the crowd of coaches and scouts at the Reese's Senior Bowl when his 81-inch wingspan was announced.
To put this measurement in perspective, former All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who stands at 6-foot-5, has a wingspan of just one inch longer at 82 inches.
Most people have a wingspan that is equivalent to their height, meaning if you stand 6-feet tall you generally would have a 72-inch wingspan. Aiyuk’s wingspan, however, measures an astounding nine inches longer than his height.
In Aiyuk’s final season at Arizona State, he hauled in 65 catches for 1,192 yards. His extraordinary arm length could be one of the reasons why he was so productive. His hands also measure nearly 10 inches, which is at the high end for a receiver and mid-range for most linemen.
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Having a longer wingspan does not guarantee better play, but it could give a receiver an edge when facing off against a defender with shorter limbs.
Aiyuk’s wingspan ratio is more equivalent to that of a basketball player, as the nine-inch difference is close to former NBA player Manute Bol, who had a wingspan 11 inches longer than his height.
The closest NBA comparisons to Aiyuk, however, would be Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo and Miami Heat’s Mario Chalmers. Both point guards stood just over six feet tall while having wingspan eight inches longer than their height.
Aiyuk’s remarkable arm length could become a tool that he uses to overcome lengthy corners like First-Team All-Pro Richard Sherman. Undoubtedly, the veteran will be giving his new teammate tips once they are able to practice together.