Brandon Aiyuk

Check out 49ers lifting weights outside while adhering to NFL protocols

Check out 49ers lifting weights outside while adhering to NFL protocols

During these times amid the coronavirus pandemic, we have to get creative when it comes to workouts. That’s no different for the 49ers.

The team recently posted an Instagram stories video of players lifting weights outdoors and in individual tents that keep them away from other teammates in order to maintain social distancing.

Star edge rusher Nick Bosa, newly-acquired left tackle Trent Williams, rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and others participated in the outdoor workouts.

They appear to be adhering to the proper safety protocols, but that type of discipline wasn’t much of a concern for this squad.

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman spoke to reporters Tuesday saying that among other factors, a bonus of playing in Santa Clara is there isn’t a huge nightlife. That means the typical distractions or possible temptations of the night scene in Miami or Atlanta isn’t a factor for the team.

[RELATED: Mostert knew he would remain with 49ers]

Sherman also credits the team’s discipline and hunger, as the 49ers try to make a return appearance in the Super Bowl. 

They’re also embracing the new norm with the nasal swab testing and surveys. They're making these extra pre-practice rituals a typical part of their routine.

It appears the 49ers are adapting just fine.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk don 49ers uniform for first time in photos

Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk don 49ers uniform for first time in photos

At long last, 49ers fans finally have the chance to see the team's two first-round draft picks in their new uniforms.

With 49ers training camp opening up throughout the past week, just about every player on the roster is back in Santa Clara working out with the team. With the start of camp comes picture day, and first-round picks Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk were able to don the 49ers red home uniform for the very first time.

Plenty of expectations await Kinlaw and Aiyuk in 2020. The former's ability to eat up space on the interior of the 49ers' defensive line will be crucial without the services of DeForest Buckner, who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for the pick eventually used to select Kinlaw. The South Carolina product's ability to toss aside SEC offensive lineman bodes well for his transition to the NFL.

Aiyuk's speed is something fans simply can't wait to see. At Arizona State, Aiyuk was tracked to have hit a top speed of 21.97 mph during an in-game play, a number only three NFL players were able to best in 2019.

[RELATED: 49ers make moves to cut roster ahead of training camp]

The 49ers' first game remains scheduled for Sept. 13 at Levi's Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals, and with no preseason games ahead of the 2020 season in light of the coronavirus pandemic, fans will have to wait until then to see the two take the field in the red and gold for the first time.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Kyle Shanahan compared 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk to Hall of Famer Issac Bruce

Kyle Shanahan compared 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk to Hall of Famer Issac Bruce

If you haven't realized this by now, Kyle Shanahan is an offensive genius who excels at finding players who will thrive in his scheme.

Tight end George Kittle and second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel are two such examples of guys who went somewhat overlooked in the draft process, but Shanahan pinpointed as guys he wanted. The 49ers had a third-round grade on Kittle but gambled and waited until the fifth-round to take him. In a 2019 receiver class with A.J. Brown, DK Metcalf, N'Keal Harry and Marquise Brown, Samuel rarely was viewed among the top options in the draft, but Shanahan took him in the second round.

Both Kittle and Samuel thrived in San Francisco, which goes to show that if Shanahan likes an offensive player and you don't, you might want to re-think your scouting system.

Rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is the latest gadget in Shanahan's arsenal. The 49ers drafted the Arizona State wide receiver with the No. 25 overall pick, and Shanahan apparently was in love with the dynamic playmaker from the start of the scouting process.

"I think Kyle would probably agree with you there," NBC Sports' Chris Simms told Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe about Aiyuk being a big part of the 49ers' offense from the jump. "Kyle, throughout the draft process, was in love with Brandon Aiyuk, and it took a lot for me not to spit his name out more in the draft process."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

In one of the most loaded receiver classes in recent NFL history, it says something that Shanahan was zeroed in on Aiyuk with guys like Henry Ruggs, CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy leading the class. In a group with a number of potential stars, Shanahan was drawn to Aiyuk above the rest.

Once Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were able to put Aiyuk in red and gold, the 49ers coach likened his new receiver to a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

"Look, full transparency, I think he was thinking about taking him at pick [14] where he took Javon Kinlaw," Simms said. "He said to me, 'I think he's Isaac Bruce.' That's who I think I got here."

With Deebo Samuel suffering a Jones fracture in his foot during a workout with teammates in Nashville this offseason, Aiyuk will have even more on his plate to open his NFL career.

Aiyuk is a YAC king with an impressive 81-inch wingspan and speed to rip the top off a defense who models his game after Odell Beckham Jr. Shanahan no doubt spent all offseason drawing up plays to get the ball in Aiyuk's hands with space to turn a short gain into an explosive play. The 49ers drafted Aiyuk to help fill the void left by Emmanuel Sanders after the veteran joined the New Orleans Saints in free agency. But with Samuel possibly missing the first few games of the 2020 season, Aiyuk likely will be looked at as the top receiver in the pattern and No. 2 pass-catching option after Kittle.

[RELATED: Deebo's injury opens door for Aiyuk, Hurd, Jennings]

As for Shanahan's comparison, Bruce was one of the top receivers in the NFL for more than a decade. Part of the "Greatest Show on Turf" St. Louis Rams, Bruce, 6-foot, 190 pounds, was a route-running surgeon who finished his career with 15,208 yards, fifth all-time between Randy Moss and Tony Gonzalez. Like Aiyuk, Bruce didn't have an electric 40-yard dash time, but his quick-change ability and second burst made him one of the stars of the NFL's passing boom. Bruce had a great ability to find holes in the zone, catch the ball, take a hit a burst upfield for a big gain, leaving defenses shook.

Shanahan believes he has a player like that in Aiyuk.

If he's right, a number of NFL teams will have egg on their face for passing on Aiyuk.