49ers make important moves on Day 2 of the draft

Washington’s Dante Pettis (8) is brought down by Utah’s Terrell Burgess in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Seattle. Washington won 33-30. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers may have drafted Reuben Foster’s replacement Friday night.

But first, they drafted a punt returner. Because some things are just more important.

The returner’s name is Dante Pettis, and he’s from Washington. To get him, the 49ers traded the 59th pick (No.27 in Round 2) and the 74th pick (No.10 in Round 3) to the Washington Redskins in exchange for the 44th pick (No.12 Round 2).

Expensive punt returner.

Pettis isn’t just a returner, though. He’s wide receiver, too. In 2016, he caught 53 passes for 822 yards and 15 touchdowns. And in 2017, he caught 63 passes for 761 yards and 7 touchdowns.

But, Pettis may not play much wide receiver for the 49ers, at least not initially. The 49ers already have two starting wide receivers – Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. And they have a primary slot receiver – Trent Taylor. Pettis could be strictly a special teamer as a rookie.

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This article has 51 Comments

  1. As the dust settles I’m less angry about the pettis pick. I like him as a player and what he can bring to the team. But I’m still pretty unhappy with what i perceive to be mismanagement of draft capital to get him.

    It’s almost as though the 9ers had the names of their first two picks written on paper and sealed in an envelope before the draft. They were going to pick them no matter what. So much so that they were willing to jump up a full round or more to get Pettis. No plan B-gotta get this one guy. Go get em Lynch.

  2. “Pettis could be strictly a special teamer as a rookie.”

    I doubt that.

    “If they don’t translate, Moore will move back to safety.”

    Yes. The same as Colbert last year.

      1. I think he beats out Taylor in camp. Shanny can also use two slot WR sets. He’s also depth for Garcon and Goodwin. He makes Aldrick expendable.

      2. I imagine Pettis will be used outside and in the slot like Sanu.


        “He can also deploy four-receiver sets, with two slot receivers on the right and left sides of the formation. He will also use them in end arounds and jet screen run plays.”

        Hmm. Pettis running end arounds and jet screen run plays. I like it.

        “The slot receiver is the new fad in the NFL. Shanahan knows this, and is formulating various ways to terrorize defenses with his slot machine which is loaded with players that can hurt a defense in multiple ways.”

      3. Pettis is the second best route-runner in the draft. That will give him a chance to play early and often. Biggest issues with wr coming out, inability to run precise routes and blocking.

        Shanahan will use him situationally. Inside, outside, won’t matter. He will find ways to get him the ball in-space.

        He is your punt returner and becomes potential 4-down player. That’s value.

        This is the type of wr Shanahan has found at every stop. In watching his tape, he is too good to fail in this offense.

        Summary: Perfect fit. This guy will be one of the better #2’s in the league. There were no top tier #1’s in this draft. Pettis will end up being more productive than Ridley. Reminds me of a Robbie Anderson, but returns punts.

        Great pick, but best pick was Fred Warner. He will be Bobby Wagner 2.0. Absolute stud!

    1. Interesting comment, Sebster. They’re going to be hard to get off the field, no? I think their games against the Rams are going to be epic. NFC Conferece Championship level.

      1. I concede that the Rams will probably win the division, but now, with JG, the Niners have a chance at a wild card.
        Considering the Rams have Donald, and picked up Suh, the best counter to that is obtaining O line help, so strategically, the Niners are making smart moves.
        I agree, splitting their games may be considered a victory, and the history between the two teams always show that they seem to play harder against each other. It used to be THE rivalry, and now, with the regression of Seattle, it may become that again.

  3. Beside the pick, did they really had to move up to grab this guy?? No hate, but I still can’t figure it out by they didn’t go for a true CB or Edge

    1. Perhaps they felt that any true edge or cornerback remaining was not as good as any they already had. While the guys the drafted fit their criteria for players who would be long term productive within their systems. Why risk capital on a risky pick ( even if it is one you need ) if players your perceive as having a long term productive future are available, especially if you are not in a win now mode.

  4. I would imagine Grant will interrogate Lynch and Shanaha face-to-face at the earliest opportunity. Mercilessly.

  5. Pettis is a gamebreaker. He had 28 tds over the last 2 years of his college career, 6 came on returns.

    Hes more than a retuner as Shanny wants to test the defense all over the field and be able to take it to the house in any play, and Pettis certainly fits what they want.

    By the way Grant keeps saying luxury pick, theyre not exactly stacked at wr? Garcon is aging, Goodwin had a good year but hasnt done that before, and Trent seems like a huge injury risk. Its not like the niners are 1 or two guys away from a perfect roster, they need help and depth at a lot of places still. I like him and happy they moved up to grab him.

      1. Clearly the 49ers liked Pettis’ versatility. He runs a full route tree, and can back up all three positions if necessary as well as be their punt returner. We’ve seen what Jimmy can do moving the ball methodically down the field. Imagine what he does with half a field….

    1. He is a great player, and a great pick, just not at 44. There were better players available at positions of need, that we passed on. That’s dangerous. Don’t fall in love with players. Let the board fall to you. In fact, we manufactured need with a our first pick. I get it, Brown wasn’t an ideal scheme fit, but he is an outstanding RT, especially in pass-blocking. To assume, a rookie OT is going to be better than a top right tackle in year 1, is huge assumption and risk. Why not let year play out and then decide on Brown. Draft an OT next year from a better crop of OT’s. McGlinchey is mid-first round pick in a good OT year.

      We have not gotten better in this draft. We have stayed the same. Cardinals have gotten better. Thankfully, the “new” Rams and Seahawks can’t draft for crap.

      1. The foundation has been built, and we’re in the process of framing, installing windows, doors and putting the roof on. I’m learning a lot by watching how they are choosing to go about it, and excited to see the incremental fruition throughout the year….

    1. I want to see Mike “Drago” McGlinchey walk up to Aaron Donald during pregame, and tell him…“I must break you”.

        1. That’s what he likes to be called. Didn’t go too well for Rocky either. Those are the kind of fights where nobody really wins….

  6. this team needs players at almost every position.one draft/free agent year is not going to do it. take your time and build the roster piece by piece. this will be a good year not a great one.but just wait until 2019/2020

    1. Agreed. Overall, we did not get better. McGlinchey is not going to be better than Brown this year, maybe ever. Brown is one of the better RT’s in league. Niners didn’t like him as scheme fit, but that doesn’t make McGlinchey a better player. Love Pettis as player and a pick, but not at #2 over other players at different positions of need. Moore, a pure-projection pick at 3. Way to too early to gamble. That is what got Baalke in trouble, and similar to what the Seahawks continue to do (they actually got worse this draft).

      1. McGlinchey comes into the league a better run blocker than Brown, plus his mindset is excellent. With his work ethic and intelligence, there’s no reason not to believe he can improve in pass pro. Speaking of which, he wins his 1v1 more than he loses….

        1. You are making a huge assumption on a rookie. Most OT’s struggle in first year with pass-blocking. Brown was a premier-pass blocker. Likely, we will be better in run-blocking and a little-worse in pass-blocking on edge. It’s essentially a wash and we didn’t get markedly better.

          1. I didn’t, the guys in charge did. McGlinchey has been trained by one of the best OL coaches in the country. He’s a better run blocker as a rookie than Brown. His intelligence and dedication are better. His work ethic is better. We’re better with Drago in the long run….

            1. In long run we MAY be. We may not. He could be a bust. He could be a star. Probably somewhere in-between in a weak OT class. We knew what we had in Brown. Why not trade him next year, or even 3 months from now. See what we have. Instead, we created a need, drafted a player when better players were available, traded a premier-pass blocker and used that pick on a project (Moore – pure projection pick). Not how I would have approached that entire situation, but we will see if we made the right call. Right now, today, we are not better because of getting rid of Brown.

              1. Dude, if Brown was so Eucking good, he would have gotten us a better draft pick. I trust Shanny, and I’ve watched McGlinchey for a few years. Solid pick, with the chance to be a stalwart replacement for Staley in two years….

            2. I totally agree with you, Razor. MM is rated the best OT in the draft.
              Pontificating that he will be a bust just means that every single player can be a bust, which then leads to the question- who is least likely to be a bust?
              McGlinchey checks all the boxes. Team captain. Good Combine. Impressive game film. Good scheme fit. Durable. Smart. One reason Harold Landry fell so far is because MM destroyed him.
              Brown does not fit well in the KS system, and his run blocking proves that. However, Brown is ideal for the Pats because he will be great protecting Tom Brady.

          2. Razor… you left out the fact that he’s always healthy.
            Our last two OT have been peanut brittle. And I’m talking bottom of the box pieces. 😁

  7. Another York Era blundering. Coulda traded down and picked up nice in the first round, even a nice guard, and gathered a pick or two from greedy quarterback seekers. No reason to give up 2 nice picks that we need for many positions to get a position of a quick WR that we already have. I am sure in YorkLand it’s going to be the new Montana and Young throwing to all these separation receivers ala Jerry Rice for huge gains. Unfortunately when that happened they had a solid team to make a few of those things happen. I am sure the phones are ringing of the hook at 49er’s HQ’s, now. We got 31 GM’s in the NFL thinking, these guy’s really like to give the house away, over there.

  8. This draft has been hot garbage. And after getting burned by taking Foster last year it appears the primary focus has been on IQ.

    Taking Josh Jackson (somewhat of a Sherman protype) would have salvaged things but of course we took a special teams starter instead.

    Every one of the players chosen have been a bit of a reach.

  9. I like Pettis, he’s a play maker. I think he will be more than a special team player. I also think he will give Trent Taylor a run for his money in camp. Trent has the edge already knowing the offense. Lets not forget though, Taylor had some costly penalties last season, coaches don’t forget that. I’m sounding like an echo here, but even if he doesn’t beat out TT for 3rd on the depth charts, this is the NFL, and we have WR with injury/age issues, so he could see some starts. With that said, I am bummed we didn’t go after Josh Jackson. I know we have one of the best corners in the league on our roster, but will he bounce back and be the same player? My gut says yes, but it’s not a sure thing. I think that the Tarvarius Moore pick was like a “late to the party” pick. All the good corners were taken, so lets get this speedy Safety and see how he does at a different position. I am hoping this kid is versatile and coachable, as he is speedy, he could work out or be a good back up Safety. I cannot criticize the Warner pick, he looks like a solid LB, it was a smart pick. Let’s hope we can get an edge rusher today!!

  10. Both good picks. Speed kills. Here’s hoping that Moore handles the switch to cornerback – I’m hoping for big things with him. The LB Warner’s strength is his mobility and inside coverage ability. LB’s who can’t cover? I don’t want them on my team (Jimmy G et al will be forcing teams to throw a lot!). I also like the 1st two picks. #1 OT in the draft? Sign me up! The WR will be excellent (and much needed) depth at that position and has the potential to be a special teams difference maker.

    Question people are asking is why have they not addressed pass rush? Well, obviously they didn’t like the talent options available in comparison to what we’ve already got. If so, glad they’re being disciplined and not panicking, and ultimately wasting picks on guys that won’t make them any better.

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