San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk put the NFL on notice last week when he told the media that he's “about to take off” in 2023. Now, 49ers teammate and cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, who has been tasked with attempting to defend Aiyuk this offseason, added some fuel to the Aiyuk hype train with these eye-popping comments, per 49ers WebZone.
“We've been having our battles since college (both played in the Pac-12). He's going to be a top-five receiver in this league this year. He's going to put everybody on notice. I feel like he's been so underrated. He really don't get the credit that he deserves.”
Not only did Lenoir say that Aiyuk, not All-Pro Deebo Samuel, has been the toughest 49ers wideout to cover this offseason, but he also said that he's “going to be a top-five receiver in this league this year.”
That would be quite a leap for Aiyuk, who broke the 1000-yard mark for the first time this past season.
However, Lenoir feels that, given Aiyuk's “smooth brakes” and “ummatched” release package, the 49ers wideout is poised for a breakout campaign.
That would validate the 49ers' decision to pick up the fifth-year option on Aiyuk's contract, a move they made in late-April.
Aiyuk had popped up in some trade rumors, given that he had only one year remaining on his deal- and the fact that the 49ers had already spent big on Samuel.
But general manager John Lynch made it clear that Aiyuk is “a big part” of the team's 2023 plans.
Good thing, because Aiyuk does indeed seem poised to “take off.”