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49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk gives surprising 4-word reaction to team drafting his potential replacement

The San Francisco 49ers are certainly welcoming Brandon Aiyuk trade rumors with open arms.

The speculation is that Aiyuk has been on the trade block for quite some time — even fellow 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been a name discussed in recent weeks.

Aiyuk’s name, though, is in circles as he is trying to get a new contract.

Well, the 49ers drafted Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, turning the Aiyuk speculation up higher.

But despite his time in the Bay Area appearing to be winding down, the veteran actually gave his seal of approval to the pick.

Aiyuk texted both 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, letting them know how he truly felt about the Gator standout.

“Fire pick, can’t lie,” Aiyuk apparently told his bosses.

Pearsall had 65 catches for 965 yards and four TDs last season at Florida and gives the 49ers a possible option as a slot receiver.

Ricky Pearsall


Pearsall began his college career at Arizona State, where he was teammates with Aiyuk in 2019, leading to the complimentary text Aiyuk sent to Lynch and a congratulatory call to Pearsall.

“We have a really good relationship,” Pearsall said. “I just got off the phone with [Aiyuk] before I got over here on this Zoom call, and he was just congratulating me and telling me over and over again, ‘You’re a first rounder, man. Soak it up.’ There’s been a lot of work put in since we last ran routes together. I feel like I’m a totally different player since the last time we’ve seen each other.”

The 49ers, fresh off an NFC championship but blowing yet another double-digit, fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl, selected Pearsall with the 30th pick of the draft.

JaTravis Broughton breaks up a pass intended for Ricky Pearsall

This year was the first time the 49ers had a pick in the first round since 2021, when they drafted quarterback Trey Lance third overall. San Francisco traded their first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 to move up nine spots that year to take Lance, who started only four games for the team before being traded to Dallas last August.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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