NFL Draft

Kiper puts 49ers' Pearsall pick among ‘head-scratching' draft moves

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The 49ers selecting Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall at No. 31 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday surprised many, including ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. 

San Francisco's Pearsall pick made Kiper's list of "head-scratching" moves from the draft's first round, with the draft analyst wondering if the pick might be related to potential moves involving a pair of All-Pro wide receivers already on the 49ers.

"This one makes you think what's going on with Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, right?" Kiper wrote. "Could the 49ers have more moves coming? In the end, though, I had Pearsall ranked below both Xavier Legette, Keon Coleman and Adonai Mitchell, all of whom were still available at the end of Round 1. Pearsall lit up the combine with his testing numbers, and he could be a better pro than college player. He's my No. 10 wideout."

Pearsall posted an impressive 40-yard dash time (4.41 seconds) during a strong performance at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. The 23-year-old wide receiver enters the NFL with a wealth of collegiate experience, racking up 2,420 receiving yards over five seasons. Pearsall spent his first three college seasons at Arizona State before transferring to Florida before the 2022 season.

In his two seasons playing for the Gators, Pearsall served as a big-play threat averaging 16.6 yards per reception. The dynamic wide receiver also returned 15 punts during his stint at Florida, offering an added layer of versatility for the 49ers after the departure of primary return man Ray-Ray McCloud to the Atlanta Falcons in NFL free agency.

With Brandon Aiyuk's contract situation still unresolved and rumors surfacing about Deebo Samuel potentially being traded, the addition of Pearsall is notable given the relative uncertainty surrounding the 49ers' wide receiver room.

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