Every year at the NFL Scouting Combine, all eyes are on the 40-yard dash. Sometimes, though, numbers do lie.
Brandon Aiyuk, who the 49ers took with the No. 25 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, ran a 4.50 40, but in reality, he likely is even faster. The former Arizona State receiver was coming off a core-muscle injury that surely hurt his time.
How fast is the rookie? Well, he ran a "soft 21 mph" in a recent workout video.
Aiyuk's speed actually is so impressive that only three players in the NFL reached a faster in-game speed than him last year. Tracked by a GPS device in Aiyuk's shoulder pads, he got up to 21.3 mph in 2019. Former 49ers running back Matt Breida had the fastest in-game speed in the NFL last season at 22.3 mph.
As a senior last season, Aiyuk hauled in 65 receptions for 1,192 yards (18.3 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns as freshman Jayden Daniels' top target. Aiyuk also averaged 31.9 yards per kick return and 16.1 yards per punt return.
There's no doubt Aiyuk will have a tough learning curve in Kyle Shanahan's complex offense, especially with such an odd offseason. At the same time, he could be the perfect deep target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, especially with his blazing speed.
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