49ers: WR Ricky Pearsall proving to be ‘plenty versatile’ early on

San Francisco 49ers rookie wide receiver Ricky Pearsall is already showing he can contribute in multiple ways, which seems to be the standard for 49ers receivers. Thus far this offseason, the former Florida wide receiver has seen reps at multiple receiver positions and has also worked as a punt returner. Pearsall caught 65 passes for 965 yards and four touchdowns and also returned 11 punts for 126 yards (11.5 yards per punt return), so he has experience in that department.

“We’re getting him a lot of reps, getting a lot of different routes, trying all the positions and we’ve been really impressed with how he’s started off,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said, via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner.

When the 49ers drafted Pearsall at No. 31 overall, the rumblings grew about the future of wide receivers Deebo Samuel and, in particular, Brandon Aiyuk, who is in the middle of a contract dispute as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. At least early on, there is room for all three, plus Jauan Jennings, who caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl LVIII.

May 10, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ricky Pearsall (14) runs drills during the 49ers rookie minicamp at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. Mandatory Credit: Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports | Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports© Robert Kupbens-USA TODAY Sports

Pearsall has been exactly as advertised. The Niners have used him at multiple receiver positions in the offense and as a punt returner, which is probably his best ticket to touching the ball early in his rookie year. The team wants Pearsall to be able to step in anywhere in case of injury, and he so far has proved plenty versatile, according to coach Kyle Shanahan.Nick Wagoner, ESPN

Pearsall had a strong week down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl, beginning his trajectory towards the first round. He may not make a huge impact early on, but expect to hear his name a few times as a rookie, particuarly on special teams. If Aiyuk or Samuel move on, however, then the door will really open for the former Gator.

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