Brandon Aiyuk

49ers GM Lynch details how ‘freaky' Aiyuk can improve 

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Programming note: Greg Papa's "49ers Game Plan" interview with general manager John Lynch will debut Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area and 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area, immediately after "Dubs Talk Live."

Brandon Aiyuk continued his dominant 2023 NFL season by erupting for a career-high 156 receiving yards in the 49ers' 27-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

San Francisco general manager John Lynch sat down with Greg Papa for NBC Sports Bay Area's "49ers Game Plan," detailing why he believes Aiyuk's exceptional play has taken a step forward this season.

"He's a really good player, he's a fun guy to watch," Lynch told Papa this week. "All the things we covet as a wide receiver, the body movements, the shoulder throwing, and being able to get parallel. He can do freaky things with his body. He's got an incredible amount of length. I just call it like, 'Go-go gadget.' His arms go as long as they need to on a given route. And I think the greatest thing about Brandon, and Herm Edwards told me this, he's going to keep getting better. He's a great competitor, and he takes coaching."

While Aiyuk has asserted himself as a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver with his incredible play, Lynch is confident the 49ers wideout has yet to reach his ceiling.

"I think you see a guy who's already played some really good football, but I even think there's more in there, and we're seeing that on a weekly basis," Lynch explained. "Probably the part that was so cool last week, that deep ball that he caught. We thought he'd be a great deep ball guy because he was at Arizona State. You couldn't overthrow him with those long arms; he'd always go and get it.

"And he hadn't had as much success in his career early on in the deep ball as we thought he might, but I think it's all starting to come together, and you put that to his game, watch out. Because he's so lethal with the underneath and intermediate routes."

Lynch was effusive in his praise of Aiyuk, complimenting the wide receiver's football ability while also commending his tenacious mindset.

"A tremendous football player, and I love the warrior mentality," Lynch shared with Papa. "He catches the ball, like a lot of the guys; the play is just getting started."

Aiyuk ranks in the top 10 in receiving yards per game (92.3) this season, recording four 100-yard receiving games, matching his combined total from his first three NFL seasons.

The explosive plays Aiyuk has produced is unmatched from an efficiency standpoint, with the 49ers wide receiver ranking first in the NFL in yards per reception (19.3) among players who have recorded at least 25 receptions during the 2023 season.

Aiyuk is currently on pace for 76 receptions, 1,477 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns this season, numbers that are sure to drive up the price of a long-term contract extension as he enters the final year of his rookie deal in 2024.

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