It is expected that the New York Giants will be switching to an offense based on the Air Coryell system under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
That system typically relies on big, athletic receivers running vertical routes to stretch the defense. Receivers who are able to threaten deep are something that the Giants’ roster is very light on. After years of being built to run risk-averse horizontal offenses, Darius Slayton is the Giants only true deep threat at receiver. And considering their overall lack of depth at the position, they could use some more help.
Arizona State wideout Brandon Aiyuk isn’t the big, athletic receiver normally favored by Air Coryell offenses, but he is a savvy route runner with enough quickness and speed to create explosive plays.
Prospect: Brandon Aiyuk (WR, Arizona State)
Games Watched: vs. Michigan State (2019), vs. USC (2019), vs. Oregon (2019), vs. Arizona (2019)
Red Flags: Failed Senior Bowl physical
Games Played: 25
Receptions (ypc): 65 (18.3 per catch)
Total Touchdowns: 8
Best: Explosiveness, route running, versatility, ball skills
Worst: Play strength, blocking
Projection: A starting receiver in a West Coast based offense
Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has versatile build with very good short-area quickness and explosive athleticism. Aiyuk has the ability to line up in multiple positions across the Arizona State offensive formation. He shows an efficient release off of the line of scrimmage with a good ability to defeat man coverage. Aiyuk is a good route runner who sells double-moves well and can draw defensive pass interference. He has good short-area quickness to make crisp, sharp breaks on comeback routes or quick timing routes. Aiyuk also has enough explosiveness and long speed to create big plays on vertical routes or with the ball in his hands.
Aiyuk is a dangerous punt and kick returner, averaging 31.9 yards per return on kick-offs and 16.1 yards on punt returns in 2019.
Aiyuk is smaller than average for an outside receiver and lacks play strength. He can be knocked off his routes and can be bullied by bigger defensive backs. He also failed his physical at the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl and was unable to participate in practices or the game. The specific issue is unknown at this time.
Overall Grade: 6.3 - A prospect with several above average traits you can win with. A good value on the second day of the draft. [Grading Scale]
Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk projects as a starting receiver in an offense based on West Coast principles. He is a very good route runner who can use his routes to unlock his athletic tools and an offense that schemes separation and run after catch opportunities will maximize his potential.
Aiyuk also has significant upside as a kick and punt returner and could be considered a special teams weapon in the NFL. That could also translate well to effectiveness on schemed carries such as screen plays.
Aiyuk can play in a vertical offense, but might struggle against bigger and faster NFL corners in man coverage. Likewise, his play strength is a question and he might not have as much value for offenses which routinely ask their receivers to block.
Teams will want to investigate the issue which caused him to fail his physical at the Senior Bowl.