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Report: ASU’s Brandon Aiyuk has core muscle surgery ahead of NFL Draft

Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the football en route to scoring on a 77 yard touchdown against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the second half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Former Sun Devil Football wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has been mock-drafted by some as a first round pick, but the latest update pertains to his health with the NFL Draft just weeks away.

Aiyuk had core muscle surgery on Tuesday to fix an issue he’s been dealing with “the last few months,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.

As Garafolo points out, Aiyuk ran a 4.50 in late February at the NFL Scouting Combine, despite the muscle injury. The significance of the matter wasn’t clear, but Garafolo implied that Aiyuk had planned to continue forward without the surgery, at least for a while. Aiyuk decided to have it now because of OTAs being postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus, Garafolo said.

The receiver was invited to the Senior Bowl but was red-flagged for medical reasons in January and didn’t participate. SunDevilSource.com reported that Aiyuk had a minor hip issue. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said it was Aiyuk’s groin.

Aiyuk’s draft stock has been helped by his burst onto the scene in 2019 but dinged some by the unusual depth of this wide receiver class. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III along with Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb project to get taken before Aiyuk, but the Sun Devil standout from last season could be the next pass-catcher off the board.

The junior college transfer had 474 yards from scrimmage for ASU in 2018 as now-Patriots wideout N’Keal Harry carried much of the load at receiver. But in 2019, Aiyuk emerged as the No. 1 receiver threat for the Sun Devils as he went on to have 1,192 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games, often racking up a lot of his yards after the catch.

ESPN’s Todd McShay mock-drafted Aiyuk as high as 20th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and more recently listed him as one of the best playmakers in space in this draft class. Pro Football Focus projected Aiyuk as a first- or second-round pick.


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