2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Brandon Aiyuk
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 195 pounds
School: Arizona State University
Aiyuk displays the knack for getting even, then leaving corners, With a long stride and violent propellant arms, he flies downfield. While he appears to build up speed, Aiyuk presents more of a gait that covers ground instead.
When examining Aiyuk’s patterns, look for loose shoulders and sharp feet. For instance, he will sell the post with his shoulders, but keeps his feet under him, allowing for a double move. In Tempe, the former JUCO transfer will run into contact during the route. Instead of business decisions, Aiyuk will prepare for the hit, but still make the catch. His route tree will only open.
As mentioned, the contested catch is nothing new for Aiyuk. On screen, he will field the errant throw to prevent a turnover. Similarly, he attempts to stab the ball without locking out his arms. That is important to transitioning the ball under the arm. On deep patterns, Aiyuk tracks the ball over either shoulder with dexterity and flight adjustment.
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Regardless of how you view Tyrell Williams, the Raiders do not employ a sound receiving corps. If you are honest, it lacks a dynamic playmaker. Since Williams’ name springs to mind first, let’s examine him, in regards to Aiyuk. As of this writing, Williams hasn’t caught a touchdown pass in a month. More importantly, he tallied over 50 yards once in the last four games. Yet, what sets off the most triggers are the four drops. In key situations, Williams ends drives and halts momentum with crushing drops. Thanks to shrewd contract management, the Raiders could escape their deal before next season with no dead cap money.
Meanwhile, Aiyuk brings a dynamic skill set to the team. On the outside, Derek Carr would enjoy an actual vertical threat that gets by defenders with speed. Granted, Jon Gruden loves the timing routes. However, the team lacks a gamebreaker to force the secondary to play honest. Now, Aiyuk may not be the number one option. Yet, he would provide a complimentary weapon to whomever the team deems as the prime wideout.
Additionally, Aiyuk offers return ability. The Raiders currently lack that dynamic threat that could help flip field position. In return, the offense gets a leg up with a shorter field to drive.