49ers

Aiyuk appreciates Julio comp but knows he has long way to go

49ers

After just nine NFL games, the ceiling remains high for 49ers rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant even compared the Arizona State product to star Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones.

That comparison flattered Aiyuk, but he knows he has a long way to go before being in the same conversation with a legend like Jones.

"Yeah, I saw it. People were sending it to me," Aiyuk told reporters Friday (h/t 49ers Webzone). "A lot of people were sending it to me, like family and friends. I appreciate it, Dez, but I don't know about that one yet. Julio's definitely one of the greatest receivers of all time, so (I'm) far from that. But (I'll) just continue to try to work towards that, but I appreciate it."

Aiyuk has been solid during his rookie season. He's caught 40 passes for 541 yards and four touchdowns, had a highlight-reel hurdle and a botched Vince Carter touchdown celebration.

It's been clear from the moment he stepped on the field why coach Kyle Shanahan coveted him. With his unique blend of size, speed and elusiveness, Aiyuk is the ideal wide receiver to put alongside Deebo Samuel and George Kittle in a 49ers' offense that relies on yards after the catch.

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Injuries, both his own and to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, have caused Aiyuk to have less of an impact on the 2020 49ers than was planned.

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But he's been electric when on the field and has shown he was one of the gems of a loaded wide-receiver class. Only time will if he can live up to Bryant's lofty comparison or not.

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