With the Eagles in such a need for speed at the wide receiver position, one could not choose a better class of free agents or college prospects at the position. Arizona State's Brandon Aiyuk would probably be a top 3-5 wideout in most years, but given the plethora of talent at the position this year, he's looking more like a top 5-7 wideout.
College Career Stats (2018 & 2019)
Aiyuk began his career at ASU in 2018, hauling in 33 receptions for 474 yards and three scores. N'Keal Harry - a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft - took most of the passing targets that year while Aiyuk was developing. Develop he did, as Aiyuk put on a show in 2019. With a rotation of freshman QBs throwing him the ball, Aiyuk brought in 65 receptions for 1,182 yards (a whopping average of 18.3 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns -- a pretty impressive stat line given the uncertainty at the quarterback position all year. While the 2019 numbers filled stat sheets, his play went further than just on offense. Aiyuk is an elite punt and kickoff returner, averaging 16.14 yards per return on punts with one score; and 29.73 yards per return on kickoffs.
Tale of the Tape
It is a thing of beauty when a wide receiver plucks a football out of the air and reels it in to secure it over the middle. That is something Eagles fans have not seen in a while, as many of their wideouts "body catch" - leading to dropped passes.
Aiyuk has sticky hands and continuously plucks the football out of the air
Aiyuk is also very good at bringing in deep balls. He can track the ball very well, and get his body and hands in place to make the catch.
His hands are one of his two best assets
Speed and Elusiveness
Aiyuk's speed and elusiveness might be better than his hands. Given space, Aiyuk can easily turn a swing pass into an 83-yard score.
4.2 - 4.3 forty speed kind of guy
Very elusive in the open field, allowing him to be an elite kick/punt return specialist
Strong body and top-end speed allows Aiyuk to work well to get open deep
Aiyuk's size and speed combination, paired with his elusiveness, makes him a home run threat from anywhere on the field.
One thing NFL scouts like in 2020 is versatility in their wideouts. You will hear announcers say "dress the play up differently", meaning moving players around the formation using motions and such. This allows the offensive coordinators to play with different formations to confuse the defense.
Aiyuk played the inside and outside wide receiver positions
Was also used a lot on sweeps and motions
Aiyuk is a good route runner with potential to get better. If given the space, he will eat up defenders. However, if he gets jammed - the play is over for him.
Gets Stunned vs Press Coverage
As mentioned before - give Aiyuk an inch - he will take a mile. Give Aiyuk nothing, and get in his face - he will barely make it off the line and Carson Wentz will have already got the ball off to Zach Ertz.
Scouts acutally laud Aiyuk for his RAC abilities, where I am not too sure. Yes - get this man an inch - he will take a mile, but I was unimpressed by his ability to break the first tackle on many screen passes.
I don't think the Eagles can necessarily go wrong picking any of the top seven wideouts in this year's draft class. While I would be hesitant to select Aiyuk at 21, right behind the Eagles in the draft are three wide receiver hungry teams in the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints. Even the Miami Dolphins might be looking for a wideout at that point, depending on how the draft goes. The draft board always shakes out differently, and much of that depends on the quarterbacks taken early. Let's hope for an early run on quarterbacks - so the Eagles have a number of wideouts to choose from.
This concludes our sixth draft vision profile. You can check out the previous four players we have profiled below: