Breaking News

49ers pick Florida WR Pearsall No. 31 overall, bolster offense

NBC Universal, Inc.

SANTA CLARA — Brandon Aiyuk’s contract situation has been the 49ers' top storyline this offseason.

Regardless of what’s to come on that front, they needed better wide receiver depth. And on Thursday night, they made a move with the idea of adding another reliable route-runner and pass-catcher for quarterback Brock Purdy.

The 49ers selected Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The selection of Pearsall doesn't necessarily mean the 49ers are prepared to part ways with Aiyuk, but it leaves the door open for a possible trade on Day 2 of the draft.

Pearsall (6-foot-1, 189 pounds) played his first three college seasons at Arizona State before moving on to Florida for his final two. He led the Gators in receiving the past two years.

While a freshman at Arizona State, Pearsall was teammates with Aiyuk, then a Sun Devils senior.

Pearsall, who caught 65 passes for 965 yards and four touchdowns as a fifth-year senior at Florida, has the ability to line up in the slot or outside. And he also could fill a 49ers need for a punt returner. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Since general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan came to the 49ers in 2017, the team had twice used a first- or second-round selection on a wide receiver. In 2019, the 49ers picked Deebo Samuel early in the second round. The following year, the 49ers traded up from No. 31 to No. 25 to pick Aiyuk.

Both of those picks worked out well for the 49ers, but they haven't been able to glean consistent production from any of their other receivers during that time.

Jauan Jennings, a seventh-round pick in 2021, saw his regular-season production drop last season to just 19 catches for 265 yards and one TD. However, he was a factor in the playoffs with two receptions for 111 yards and one TD.

After those top three receivers, the 49ers got next to nothing, though.

Pearsall joins a receivers room that also features recent draft picks Danny Gray and Ronnie Bell, as well as Trent Taylor, Chris Conley and Tay Martin for roles on the team. The 49ers signed Taylor last week because of his efficiency as a punt returner.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us