Ravens GM believes 49ers’ Ricky Pearsall ‘sleeper,’ hoped to draft him – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

Although Ricky Pearsall was widely projected as a second-round pick, the 49ers saw something in him to use their first-round selection to draft him 31st overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

And they are not the only ones to have understood the potential of the Florida product.

Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said he hoped Pearsall would have been available to the Ravens “at some point” during the draft. He was surprised when the 49ers secured him in the first round — one pick after Baltimore chose cornerback Nate Wiggins.

“It was a great choice. I give those guys a lot of credit,” DeCosta said (to Niners Nation). “I thought (Pearsall) was a guy we could have who would be a sleeper for us at some point. He really wasn’t a hot name. But he was another guy when you watched his game, It’s a super impressive cassette player.”

That sentiment was prevalent throughout the rest of the league, with NFL executives, coaches and players praising the young receiver.

Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud went viral for his heated reaction to San Francisco’s selection of Pearsall, saying he “really wanted him” in Houston.

Several others expected Pearsall to thrive in 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s system, particularly with his unique route-running abilities.

“My versatility is going to help me,” Pearsall said on 95.7 The Game’s “Morning Roast” last week. “I think being able to play different positions and move around is going to help me, give me different opportunities. And obviously Coach Shanahan likes to put a lot of guys in motion on the field, create matchups, create different looks, so I feel like I’m a guy who can do that.”

Although several teams may have slept on the 23-year-old coming out of college, he will have the opportunity to prove those wrong – and DeCosta and those who believed in him right – when he will report to the 49ers rookie minicamp on Thursday.

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