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Ricky Pearsall Dynasty Value

By Shane Hallam | Updated on Thu, 02 May 2024 . 7:48 AM EDT
Ricky Pearsall Dynasty Value: Is He a Stud ... or Too Old?

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Imagine sitting on the clock in a rookie draft and staring at a WR who will be 24 years old before his second NFL game.

Pulling that trigger is difficult in most years. But Ricky Pearsall makes that choice much easier.

Pearsall is known for his smooth route running and highlight catches, but the journey through his college career was a wild ride.

As a player who can score catching, running, throwing, and returning, Pearsall drips upside.

But might he just settle into a gadget role instead of being a high-end fantasy producer?

 

Ricky Pearsall Dynasty Values

Dynasty 1-qb Dynasty Superflex
Non-PPR 32.0 Non-PPR 20.0
PPR 32.1 PPR 21.1
TE Premium 31.6 TE Premium 21.1

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Ricky Pearsall Draft Profile

Position: WR
Height: 6'1
Weight: 189
BMI:
24.9
Draft Age: 23.4
NFL Draft Pick: No. 31 overall 


Draft Sharks Model Score: 7.62
Analytics Score: 0.57
Film Score: 0.46
Production Score: 0.38

Ricky Pearsall Combine Results

Wingspan Arm Length HAnd Size 40-yard Dash 10-yard split
73.4" 30.9" 9.25" 4.41 seconds 1.49 seconds
Bench Press Vertical Broad Jump 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle
17 42" 10'9 6.64 4.05

Percentiles vs Combine WRs since 1999, per MockDraftable

 

Ricky Pearsall College Stats

Games targets receptions rec yards yards per catch rec tds
2019 (ASU) 13 13 7 128 18.3 0
2020 (ASU) 4 7 6 86 14.3 1
2021 (ASU) 13 67 48 580 12.1 4
2022 (UF) 13 59 33 661 20.0 5
2023 (UF) 12 87 65 965 14.8 4

Versatile High School Producer

Pearsall became the lead WR in his junior season at Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona.

He set the Arizona High School 6A single-game receiving record that year with 14 receptions for 342 yards.

Pearsall also saw use in a variety of other ways in high school. He ran the ball multiple times a game and even averaged a throw per contest. Pearsall also cut through opposing special teams as one of the best returners in the state.

Pearsall logged an official 4.65-second 40 time and impressive 40.1-inch in workouts ahead of his senior season.

An injury shortened that final year, though, and hurt his recruiting profile.

Pearsall received only a three-star rating. Arizona State was the only Power-5 offer he received.

Pearsall Stays in Tempe

Pearsall committed to his hometown Sun Devils to be a part of HC Herm Edwards’ rebuild at Arizona State.

After a smattering of playing time as a true freshman, Pearsall rose up the depth chart heading into his sophomore season. Unfortunately, the Sun Devils only played four games in that COVID-shortened year.

The 2021 spring game saw Pearsall break out as a receiving threat. He showcased improved athleticism and technique and even threw a pass on a trick play that left Tempe buzzing.

Pearsall emerged as a top weapon.

He hauled in 48 catches for 580 yards and 4 TDs. With QB Jayden Daniels throwing, Pearsall’s two TD catches helped Arizona State win the Territorial Cup by beating Arizona that year.

And the trick plays didn’t stop at the spring game. Pearsall would go 2-for-2 passing, including a TD against Colorado.

He also ran the ball six times for 44 yards and a TD.

With his success (and Arizona State facing possible NCAA sanctions), bigger programs came calling for Pearsall. 

Pearsall Transfers to Florida

Billy Napier’s offense at Florida shifts receivers into different roles every play to confuse the defense.

Pearsall’s versatility fit perfectly as he could move from outside into the slot and then to a tight stack – even lining up inline or in the backfield.

Pearsall earned a starting role early in camp and would lead the Gators in receiving yards and TDs. Pearsall dominated defenses that ran zone coverage, showing his high football IQ. 

Being a jack-of-all-trades was back.

Pearsall ran the ball eight times for 113 yards and a TD. He returned punts. He lined up in the backfield and caught screens. Pearsall’s upside appeared to be unlocked.

Pearsall and the offense faced expectations when he returned for his fifth yaer. Though Florida went run-first, Pearsall proved too talented to keep down. 

He caught 65 passes for 965 yards and 4 TDs. Once again, he returned punts and ran the ball on some gadget plays. He continued dominating zone coverages and helped mentor the young WR group.

Impressive Pre-Draft Process

There was very little hype when Pearsall declared for the NFL draft, but analysts caught on quickly after going back to the film.

Even with some being lukewarm because of his age (he turns 24 on Sept. 9), producing in the SEC did turn some heads.

Going to the Senior Bowl helped, as Pearsall dominated CBs in one-on-one drills. The footwork and precise route running were apparent.

Pearsall likely thrust himself into Day 2 of the draft with a terrific Combine performance. 

He posted a 9.91 RAS, with a 4.41-second 40 time and 42-inch vertical. Every test he did rated 93rd percentile or better for the position historically. 

Not only was the testing great, but every drill displayed impeccable technique.

Pearsall may have had the best pre-draft process of any prospect in the draft.

TIP

The Draft War Room is your fantasy football cheat sheet for dynasty rookie drafts. Sync your league today to see how Ricky Pearsall and the rest of the rookies rank in your league

  

Ricky Pearsall Highlights

Games watched: Southern Utah (2021), Georgia (2022), Florida State (2022), Oregon State (2022), Charlotte (2023), Kentucky (2023), South Carolina (2023), Georgia (2023), Arkansas (2023), LSU (2023), Missouri (2023)

Pearsall’s strong offseason and Combine have helped his draft stock, but strong film came first.

The highlights show Pearsall’s versatility and technique. But, there could be some red flags that pop up as well …

Pristine Route Running

Pearsall’s route techniques are near perfection.

He doesn’t waste movement when running routes and often utilizes smooth transitions on steps to find holes in zone coverage.

In the clip below, Pearsall comes from an inside stack up the seam against zone. He recognizes the coverage and extends his route past the LB to position himself between the second and third levels.

When the safety drops into deep coverage, Pearsall hits the perfect spot for a reception despite an underthrown pass.

Ricky Pearsall shows his pristine route running to set up this catch against Georgia. His fundamentals could drive big dynasty value.

With near-effortless footwork, Pearsall focused on spacing between defenders.

Great route runners almost always become NFL contributors.

Tremendous Catch Technique

Catching with your hands instead of your body decreases drops and stops defenders from jarring the ball loose.

As catch extension techniques are getting sloppier in college football, Pearsall puts on a clinic on how to track and catch a football.

In the clip below, Pearsall comes off the line and gets separation. He looks over his shoulder and tracks the ball while extending his arms and catching with soft hands.

Ricky Pearsall displays abnormally strong catch technique on this play vs. South Carolina. His fundamentals could drive big dynasty value.

Even with the pass a bit off the route, Pearsall positions himself to catch with his hands instead of getting his whole body directly under it. 

Combined with his route running, the fundamentals give him a high floor.

What Can’t Pearsall Do?

Pearsall’s versatility makes him more attractive to NFL teams. Adding special teams value along with rushing – and even passing – gives Pearsall a skill set unique among this class.

In the clip below, Pearsall takes an end around to the house with his athleticism and vision.

Ricky Pearsall takes this end around for a long TD run against Missouri. The rushing adds to his fantasy upside but won't drive his dynasty value.

He can throw on trick plays as well.

Though the pass isn’t perfect in this next clip, it certainly is a play his new NFL team could leverage.

Ricky Pearsall throws a deep completion for Arizona State in this clip, showing his versatility. He won't throw enough in the NFL to impact his dynasty value.

The slight worry with this skill set is that it may hurt Pearsall’s fantasy outlook. If a team primarily wants to use Pearsall as a gadget player on limited snaps, then his receiving upside would obviously suffer.

A highlight profile would not be complete without showing the “Catch of the Year” in college football last season.

Ricky Pearsall makes the 'catch of the year' for 2023 against Charlotte. He clearly has the skills to deliver exciting dynasty value.

Man Coverage Weakness

Pearsall’s inconsistency against man coverage cropped up as his biggest weakness. Though he runs good routes, Pearsall tries to shake the corner too much instead of utilizing his abilities.

This leads to corners being able to close quickly and stick with Pearsall, even when he has the skills to beat them.

In the clip below, Florida uses a level concept to clear out the three levels of the defense. In the middle level, Pearsall needs to take a sharp cut and keep his acceleration to beat the nickel CB.

Instead, Pearsall decelerates to try and freeze the CB into thinking he is going deep. The CB reads the route and closes on Pearsall going slower than his 4.41-second 40 time.

Ricky Pearsall needs work in man coverage. Here he allows a CB to catch up by not fully leveraging his talent. Improving this area will help his dynasty value.

Pearsall struggles to manipulate man coverage. Even with the Georgia CB playing 5 yards off, Pearsall doesn’t separate enough because of his attempted manipulation.

If Pearsall ditches these attempts and focuses on what he does well, the sky's the limit.

  

Ricky Pearsall Team Fit: San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Shannahan’s offense is acclaimed in NFL circles because it puts WRs in position to get open while giving the QB relatively easy passes. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel achieved their success through route running and athleticism. The preferred route tree of a Shannahan WR contains:

  • Drags
  • Ins
  • Slants
  • Flys/Posts along the sideline 

This route tree is exactly why the 49ers shocked the world and drafted Pearsall in the first round. His crisp footwork in and out of those exact routes are perfect for the offense. Pearsall also has the athleticism to keep the defense honest by stretching the field along the sideline.

The 49ers explored trading away Aiyuk or Samuel during the NFL Draft process. Pearsall would fill the open spot immediately if one is traded. 

If both Aiyuk and Samuel stay, Pearsall will be buried on the depth chart for his rookie season and may not produce much.

  

Dynasty Value Conclusion

Pearsall’s skill set gives him a high floor. Route runners with good catch technique will find a way to earn targets. 

The major question: Did Pearsall’s older age help increase the gap between him and significantly younger defenders?

Making the jump to the NFL and beating pros is very different from reading zone coverage against LSU. 

The 49ers obviously are planning for life after Brandon Aiyuk and/or Deebo Samuel by taking Pearsall in the first round. This type of investment should guarantee Pearsall a shot at being the starter by 2025 at the latest.

If both Aiyuk and Samuel stay on the team this year, Pearsall may struggle to earn enough targets to be fantasy relevant as a rookie. This potential drops him below some of the Round 2 WRs in better situations.  

 

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How does Pearsall stack up vs. the rest of the rookies?

Matt and Jared take a pre-draft look at the 2024 rookie class ...

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