NFL legend Jerry Rice has been scouting the San Francisco 49ers this off-season. In doing so, he believes one of their young wide receivers is in for a breakout year this upcoming season.
The 49ers knew Rice was going to be special following his strong rookie season (49 catches for 927 yards and three touchdowns). But no one could’ve anticipated the jump he made from year one to year two. He exploded for 86 receptions for 1,570 yards and 15 touchdowns in a brilliant sophomore campaign. Simply put, Rice knows what it takes to make such a jump. He believes one of the current 49ers wide receivers could follow a similar trajectory this year.
Rice told reporters this week he expects second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to have a breakout year this upcoming season. Aiyuk, an Arizona State alum, caught 60 passes for 748 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, which just so happen to be similar numbers Rice put up his rookie season.
Comparing Aiyuk to Rice isn’t fair to the youngster at this point in his career. But Rice foresees the 23-year-old taking his game to another level this fall.
“I think he’s going to come in and, you know, with a year under his belt he is going to be a better football player,” Rice said, via NBCSportsBayArea.com. “His commitment, his route-running, he is very explosive downfield, he can catch the ball underneath, he can do it all.”
Brandon Aiyuk played in just 12 games during his rookie season, making his numbers all the more impressive.
Aiyuk flashed superstar potential down the stretch of the regular season. He combined for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the final five games he played in last year.
If Aiyuk takes his game to another level this upcoming season, the 49ers will be one of the more dangerous offenses in the NFL.