Brandon Aiyuk led the 49ers pass catchers with 95 yards on five receptions in the Week 13 contest against the Buffalo Bills. One of his standout receptions came on a deep throw from Nick Mullens where the rookie wideout hauled in the pass over his shoulder, and the head of his defender, for a 49-yard reception.
While playing on the national stage is sure to garner the attention of fans and NFL pundits alike, Aiyuk's performance on the Monday night game caught the attention of All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant.
Bryant took to Twitter where he drew parallels between Aiyuk and fellow All-Pro receiver Julio Jones.
"Aiyuk is Julio lil Brotha," the receiver tweeted.
Former 49ers receiver and now Detroit Lions Mohamed Sanu co-signed Bryant's high praise of the rookie receiver.
As expected, Aiyuk caught wind of the exchange after the game. Although appreciated, the rookie is aware that he has a long road ahead of him to live up to the Jones comparisons.
"A lot of people were sending it to me, like family and friends," Aiyuk said. "I appreciate it, Dez, but I don't know about that one yet. Julio's definitely one of the greatest receivers of all time, so (I'm) far from that. But (I'll) just continue to try to work towards that. But I appreciate it."
Jones, widely recognized as one of the best receivers in the NFL, became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career receiving yards. He has notched 1,000 yards in seven of his last nine seasons, in which he led the league twice in that stat. The seven-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro wideout's career average of 96 yards per game is the highest in NFL history.
Aiyuk has made a significant impact in his first season in the NFL. Despite missing three games, the rookie leads San Francisco with 541 receiving yards on 40 receptions and four touchdowns. The rookie has a touchdown or 100-plus yards in seven of his last eight games.
According to Pro Football Focus, Aiyuk's last four contests have been his best performances so far through his rookie season. Since Week 7, Aiyuk is tied for sixth in yards per route run (2.63) and fourth in receiving grade (87.3) among all NFL receivers. He is also the second-highest graded rookie receiver (78.8) behind Minnesota Vikings wideout Justin Jefferson (90.0).
Though the correlation to Jones is a lofty comparison in just his rookie campaign, Aiyuk already appears to be on the right foot in San Francisco.