Ravens GM wishes he could've drafted 49ers' ‘sleeper' Pearsall

Ravens GM wishes he could've drafted 49ers' ‘sleeper' Pearsall originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Despite Ricky Pearsall largely being projected as a second-round pick, the 49ers saw something in him to use their first-round selection to draft him No. 31 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

And they weren't the only ones who saw the Florida product's potential.

Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said he hoped Pearsall would have been available for the Ravens "at some point" during the draft. He was surprised when the 49ers secured him in the opening round -- one pick after Baltimore chose cornerback Nate Wiggins.

"It was a great pick. I give those guys a lot of credit," DeCosta said (h/t Niners Nation). "I thought [Pearsall] was a guy that we might get that was a sleeper for us at some point. He really wasn't a hot, hot commodity name. But that was another guy when you watched his game, he's a super impressive player on tape."

That sentiment was common around the rest of the league, with NFL executives, coaches and players speaking highly of the young receiver.

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud went viral for his animated reaction to San Francisco selecting Pearsall, stating he "wanted him bad" in Houston.

Several others have anticipated Pearsall thriving in 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's system, especially with his unique route-running abilities.

"My versatility is going to help me," Pearsall said on 95.7 The Game's "Morning Roast" last week. "I think being able to play different positions and moving me around is going to help me, give me different opportunities. And obviously Coach Shanahan likes to put a lot of guys in motion across the field, create matchups, create different looks, so I feel like I'm a guy who can do that."

While several teams might have slept on the 23-year-old coming out of college, he'll have a chance to prove those wrong -- and DeCosta and those who believed in him right -- when he reports for 49ers rookie minicamp Thursday.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast