Rating 49ers first-round pick of Florida WR Ricky Pearsall

After a long wait on Thursday night, the San Francisco 49ers have officially made their pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. While quarterbacks and offensive linemen flew off the board early, the 49ers stuck with the offensive trend of the first round by picking Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall.

After three seasons at Arizona State, the 6-foot-1 wide receiver played his final two collegiate seasons at The Swamp with the Florida Gators. In his final year with the Gators, Pearsall recorded 65 receptions for 965 yards to go along with four touchdowns. Pearsall added two rushing touchdowns. The 23-year-old finished the season with 1027 yards form scrimmage.

Prior to being selected at the end of the first round, Pearsall was widely considered a day-two pick by different draft analysts. The Florida product will now slide into Kyle Shanahan’s offense as the 49ers attempt to make another run at the Super Bowl.

While the addition of Pearsall will likely only fuel trade speculation for the 49ers duo of Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, let’s dive into instant reactions and ratings from the Niners Wire crew.

Kyle Madson – Managing Editor: 

This feels like a reach for the 49ers with Pearsall ranked in the 40s of most major draft analysts’ boards. He was never a big-time producer in college with a career-high 65 catches for 965 yards last season. His high in TDs came in 2022 when he put up five for the Gators. However, he’s a good route runner and a fine athlete who lined up all over the field at Florida. Perhaps he winds up becoming a go-to target for quarterback Brock Purdy, but the pick overall feels lackluster, given some of the other talented players on the board.

Rating: 2.5 / 5 Stars

Tommy Call – Contributor 

Heading into the 2024 draft, Ricky Pearsall was one of my favorite players on the board. When watching Pearsall, the word smooth continues to stand out. Whether it’s his soft hands that seem to make every catch or his underrated footwork that helps him get open while he churns through nearly every route on the tree. It felt like there’s a chance Pearsall could quickly contribute out of the slot on day one moving the chains, with the potential to step outside with some versatility. The idea of a player with those types of traits is intriguing, especially in an offense being drawn up by Kyle Shanahan.

While all that is positive, I liked Pearsall and all of those traits because I thought they would likely be available on day two. This feels like a steep reach, especially with some of the players still on the board like Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cooper DeJean and Jer’Zhan Newton. If Pearsall was the guy, a trade-down feels like it could’ve been a better option.

Again, I like the player, maybe a lot more than others, but even with that being said, I am not a fan of the value.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars 

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire