ESPN’s draft confidential reveals coach’s take on Ricky Pearsall’s pick

It is no secret that the San Francisco 49ers‘ first-round pick of the 2024 NFL draft has caused a stir among the national media. Kyle Shanahan and Co. made Florida Gators wide receiver Ricky Pearsall the No. 31 pick in the annual amateur selection process last month and the pundits still cannot stop clamoring about it.

The latest sports writer to scratch at the topic is ESPN senior writer Adam Rittenberg, who published his 2024 NFL draft confidential column covering the surprises and sleepers from the perspective of active college coaches during the 2023 campaign. As expected, Pearsall was mentioned after a solid season followed by an outstanding showing at pre-draft events that saw his stock rise meteorically, but few thought his value would fly this high.

“When I asked coaches to identify potential sleepers entering the NFL draft, Ricky Pearsall’s name came up a lot, as the Florida wide receiver drew mixed reviews. Pearsall, who had 965 receiving yards on 65 catches for the Gators last fall, went at No. 31 to the San Francisco 49ers,” Rittenberg begins.

He asked a college defensive coordinator from an opposing team this season what his take was.

“The Pearsall pick, other than the Penix pick, might have been the oddest one to me,” he said. “He’s a solid receiver. We didn’t have to game-plan for him. His routes at times were just OK. He would do a lot of dancing and get off target. Some of the throws that (Graham) Mertz missed… were on lack of route detail by Pearsall. That one shocked me.”

Next up for Pearsall is San Francisco’s rookie minicamp, which runs from May 10-11. After that, the Niners have their OTA offseason workouts set for May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29 and May 31; mandatory minicamp runs from June 4-6.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire