Up, Down or Stay: How will Arizona St. WR Brandon Aiyuk’s surgery impact his draft stock?

NFL Draft News
Brandon Aiyuk

Already a fringe first-rounder, draft analysts say Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has likely dropped out of Day 1 consideration after the senior underwent surgery on Tuesday.

Aiyuk (6-feet, 205) turned in a somewhat pedestrian 4.5 second 40 during the Combine – a good but not great time. Prior to that, Aiyuk was a medical red flag at the Senior Bowl, with conflicting reports as to why. Whatever the case, the injury was believed to be why Aiyuk’s time was a bit slower than anticipated.

Reports say the senior receiver was considering holding off surgery. However, on Tuesday, NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo said Aiyuk had a core-muscle procedure. The reason he decided to go ahead with the surgery was due to the postponement of upcoming OTAs, according to media reports.

Recovery time is typically four to eight weeks.

So it’s a bit of a good-news, bad-news situation with Aiyuk. Draft analysts say this likely drops him out of the first round; however, this gives him a window of time to heal before training camps start.

What the analysts are saying:

Dave Zangaro, NBC Sports

“In an Eagles-only mock draft on March 31, I had the Eagles taking Aiyuk with the 53rd pick but I wasn’t completely convinced he’d be there. This injury/surgery makes it slightly more likely that he is.”

“Maybe this surgery helps him fall into their range in Round 2.”

Vincent Frank, Sports Naut

“It now looks like Aiyuk could see a fall down the draft board …”

“Look for him to make it out of Round 1. At that point, a fall come Day 2 could be in the cards. It’s a less-than-ideal situation for the talented receiver.:

It’s not great news for the YAC King. However, he’s still largely considered a second-round prospect. Plus, the depth of the receiver class and at other positions meant it was never a given that Aiyuk would wind up in the first round.

Therefore, the top 50 still feels like a good spot for Aiyuk’s rankings.

He becomes the second highly ranked wide receiver to undergo the procedure before the draft. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault underwent the surgery in late February and is expected to be fully healed by the time training camps start. Shenault was also seen as a fringe-first rounder before the surgery.

Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2018 Arizona State Pac-12 JR WR 13 33 474 14.4 3 0 0 0 33 474 14.4 3
*2019 Arizona State Pac-12 SR WR 12 65 1192 18.3 8 1 6 6.0 0 66 1198 18.2 8
Career Arizona State 98 1666 17.0 11 1 6 6.0 0 99 1672 16.9 11
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2020.


Jake Rigdon (jake@sydwriting.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.

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