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Ricky Pearsall NFL Rookie Profile - Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Outlook

Ricky Pearsall - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Projected as a Day 2 pick, the San Francisco 49ers shocked the world by selecting Florida product Ricky Pearsall at the end of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. After playing five seasons of college football, Pearsall joins one of the most loaded groups of skill position players in the NFL.

Pearsall will be experienced at 24 years old by the time his rookie season kicks off, but Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle currently stand in his path as he seeks targets early in his professional career.

Should you be drafting Ricky Pearsall in fantasy football? Let’s break his profile down.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Ricky Pearsall NFL Rookie Profile

Team: San Francisco 49ers
College: Arizona State/Florida 
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 189
Age: 23 (9/9/2003)
Arm Length: 30 7/8"
Hand Size: 9 1/4"
2022 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 31


Arizona State Production

Ricky Pearsall started his collegiate career at Arizona State in 2019 after committing as a three-star recruit. He played a limited role as a freshman and sophomore as players like Brandon Aiyuk and Rachaad White took most of the touches, but he formed a connection with quarterback Jayden Daniels in his junior season and led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Arizona State 2021 Receptions Rec Yards Yards/Gm TDs
Ricky Pearsall 48 580 44.6 4
Rachaad White 43 456 41.6 1
LV Bunkley-Shelton 33 418 38.0 2

Following his breakout 2021 season, Pearsall transferred to Florida where he had two remaining seasons of eligibility.


Florida Production

Pearsall teamed up with Anthony Richardson in 2022 to again lead his receiving room in yards and touchdowns. He put up an impressive 20 yards per catch in the process, recording 661 yards and five touchdowns on just 33 receptions. He also showcased his explosiveness on the ground, taking eight carries for 113 yards and a score.

Florida 2022 Receptions Rec Yards Yards/Gm TDs
Ricky Pearsall 33 661 50.8 5
Justin Shorter 29 577 64.1 2
Xzavier Henderson 38 410 41.0 2

His best season came in 2023 with Graham Mertz under center. Again leading the team, Pearsall eclipsed 1,000 scrimmage yards and scored six touchdowns (two rushing).

Florida 2023 Receptions Rec Yards Yards/Gm TDs
Ricky Pearsall 65 965 80.4 4
Eugene Wilson III 61 538 53.8 6
Arlis Boardingham 26 289 32.1 4

While functioning the strongest as a slot receiver, Pearsall has the size, speed, and separation to line up all over the field. He was a highlight reel at Florida and while many were surprised by him going in the first round, those who watched his film in depth were not at all shocked despite the red flags surrounding his late breakout and late declaration.


Rookie Situation

At the time of this writing, the 49ers have not moved Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk. While rumors have been swirling regarding both star receivers, it appears more likely than not that they will both be in San Francisco in 2024. With that being the case, Pearsall’s 2024 fantasy upside is severely capped. He will operate as the third receiver in an offense that often only deploys two receivers on the field at a time. That is also pending that he can beat out Jauan Jennings, who has been an underrated piece in a limited role over the past three seasons.

That being said, Samuel has only played in every game in one of his five seasons. With his injury history, Pearsall could see an opportunity to thrive in the “Deebo role” and could be an eventual replacement once the 49ers move on from their star offensive weapon.

Samuel struggled to get separation in the Super Bowl, which is one of Pearsall’s strengths. While most of the smoke has been around Aiyuk being moved, Pearsall may have been drafted as more of a Deebo replacement than an Aiyuk replacement.


Ricky Pearsall Fantasy Football Outlook

In redraft leagues, Pearsall is a late-round dart throw if even drafted at all. He may not be worth drafting with how many mouths there are to feed in San Francisco and could be a waiver wire pickup in the event that Samuel goes down.

In rookie drafts, his ADP is currently in the early second round (2.02). Grabbing a first-round receiver in the second round of a rookie draft is always tough to pass up on, but with the depth of this draft class 2.02 feels a little steep for a player who may be better off as a taxi squad stash in year 1. The middle to end of the second round feels like the right spot to take a first-round receiver who will be a 24-year-old backup to start his career.

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