New 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis knows role will take time

Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis (8) stiff-arms Stanford cornerback Alameen Murphy during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA — When the 49ers traded up to the 44th pick in the NFL draft last Saturday and took Dante Pettis, many people wondered what his role would be next season.

Slot receiver? Punt returner? Both?

The answer might be, ‘neither.’

“Rookie year, obviously I want to play as much as I can,” Pettis said Thursday in the 49ers media room. “But I’ve been around sports enough to know that it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, there’s a learning curve. Sometimes, there’s just someone ahead of you that is better.”

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This article has 52 Comments

  1. He’s going to play, a lot, they all are going to rotate all year.

    Great pick, good draft.

    Here’s the question, will McFadden make the squad?

    Grant, please dissect his ‘disappointing’ last season and tell us if he’s a former one year wonder or the second coming of Richard Sherman.

  2. I agree with Jay. There’ll be rotation, and there’ll be situations during games where Pettis’s versatility, hands, and route running — oh, and intelligence — will let Shanahan exploit mismatches with opponents’ defenses. That’ll be a positive.

    There are likely to be negative reasons he gets on the field, too. While Taylor stayed remarkably healthy for a little guy, the other receivers were not so fortunate. If Pettis shows up as the most talented receiver outside of the experienced starters, he’ll be likely to start if and when one of them goes down — and he may be able to play every position, making him next man up under any circumstances. Very curious to see what rapport develops between him and Jimmy G. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  3. Dante’s Inferno will get his opportunities to burn secondaries through attrition. In the meantime, I’m expecting him to make Jimmy’s job easier with better field position….

  4. I’m nitpicking here but I don’t see him as a traditional deep threat, as he wont be beating players on go routes.

    “he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at his pro day” – this translates into 4.5 or so at the combine.
    With that said, he will get beat people deep occasionally, but this will done on slugo’s and double moves (ie route running).

      1. Yeah, “versatility” seems to be the way many teams are viewing players.

        Pettis, will punt return, get snaps as a receiver and probably lineup in the backfield on occasion.
        Pettis is Shanahan’ personal canvas and Shanny will paint a masterpiece.

    1. Straight-line speed does not map one-to-one to football speed. Pettis is elusive and his great body control may allow him to avoid tackles even as the DB closes on to him. That said, I haven’t seen that 5th gear that Goodwin possesses.

    2. I don’t know. Watching him on film he looks plenty fast enough to be a deep threat for this offense.

  5. Just a throw in:
    Matt Miller yesterday on Raider’s drafting Hurst:

    —Raiders “Irresponsible” for Drafting Maurice Hurst

    And finally, this one is shocking. After the draft ended on Saturday—and even during our Bleacher Report live stream coverage—I was asking if Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was going to be drafted. Hurst was flagged at the combine for a heart condition but was later allowed to participate at the Michigan pro day. If the Wolverines felt he was healthy, why did he fall so far in the draft?

    I spoke to over 10 scouts, coaches and executives regarding Hurst. One, in a heated rant, labeled the selection “irresponsible” by the Raiders because of Hurst’s heart condition (which hasn’t been publicly shared) and hoped the talented defender would “never put a f–king helmet on again in his life.”

    That sentiment was echoed many times over, with one head coach adding, “Only the Raiders would draft a guy who could literally die on the field from a known condition.”

    1. Ha! Seems over the top considering a doctor would need to sign off before he ever put a f-king helmet on again in his life.

      1. Yes, Razor, you would think the Raiders would have done their homework and not want to play someone who would die on the field. Understatement. Sometimes I post things only because they are interesting and think the group will want to know what’s being said. I have no idea what the truth is here. If this happened, it would certainly be a tragedy for the young man and his family. It would also blemish both Gruden and the League. So should I infer there is no truth here? Should I think Miller is just making this up? He wrote, “That sentiment was echoed many times over, with one head coach adding, “Only the Raiders would draft a guy who could literally die on the field from a known condition.” I don’t know and of course hope there is no truth in this.

        1. Yea, once a doctor signs off, the moral police would seem to lose the high ground, given they lack expertise.

          1. You might be able to find a doctor somewhere to sign him off. It’s much like political activists can find a federal judge to come up with a ruling in their favor with so many to chose from.

            From watching Western Movies we can surely surmise that every small town has an alcoholic doctor with a troubled past who would do anything for a drink. lol.

            1. You might be able to find a doctor somewhere to sign him off.

              If Dr. Mengele were still around, he’d be happy to sign the slip. And the death cert too.

              Makes perfect sense for the Raiders. If Hurst happens to kick off during the season opener in Las Vegas, it’ll get the world’s attention. Don’t forget, even bad publicity is good.

              1. ‘Hurst is astonishing excellent and is unequivocally the healthiest football player in the world.’
                – Dr Bornstein.

        2. George,

          The heart condition was not a secret. Hurst and the team doctors at Michigan have known about it since he got there. It’s believed to be similar to the condition Star Lotulelei has which was red flagged during his pre draft testing and he has played 5 years with no issues whatsoever. After being sent home from the combine Hurst was checked again by the Michigan doctors and also cleared by Harvard doctors so this isn’t a case of a team just deciding to draft a play a player who is a major health risk. To me, the comments sound more like reps from other teams who are pissed that the Raiders got a player of this caliber in the 5th round. Making excuses as to why a young man shouldn’t be able to try and make a living at his chosen profession is a lousy way to go about it, but it happens.

      1. Grant, if I were a doctor, I’d be happy to clear you for 10 rounds with Anthony Joshua. Just pay the receptionist on your way out. And you can thank me later — if you’re still able to put two words together.

  6. “He finished 2017 with 761 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches. ”

    6 of those 7 TD were against Fresno State and Oregon State who are not exactly defensive powerhouses. Are there any corners in the NFL from either school? This was our worst draft pick.

    1. Rollo,
      When Jimmy G ends up with a short field all year I believe your opinion might change. He is a game changer as a punt returner and Shanahan will find a way to use his abilities as a receiver. imho

  7. Well this is an interesting read regarding our newest signal caller and his development.

    Sorry guys, link didn’t work. In the post below.

    1. For a sec, I thought you were talking about Jack Heneghan. Can’t wait to see that guy sling the ball during preseason. Smart dude, too.

    1. Kittle mentioned in his Maiocco podcast that he had been practicing running routes from the playbook iPad with Trent Taylor and CJ twice a week in Nashville during the 3 months off.

  8. If you haven’t had a chance make sure you check out Miaocco’s blog today it brought tears to my eyes.

    1. It is unseemly for a lawyer to be crying in his office in the middle of the workday, but thank God I can close my door. All those names, bonded as family, with their patriarch caring for them still…I relived my childhood reading it all.

  9. I just read where Pettis is going to wear #18 with the 9ers. I hope he appreciates the history of that # with the team.

  10. One thing for sure we have depth at the returner position. Taylor, Pettis, Reed. Reed was second only to Pettis last year. One of the rule changes that they are considering is not allowing the kickoff team to have a running start, that could make kickoffs relevant again.

    1. NB Williams seems like a good trade candidate to me. Just prior to the deadline, maybe training camp.

  11. Pettis was ran a 4.47 forty.
    Trent Taylor ran a 4.63 forty.
    The slot position just got strong competition.
    I expect KS to dial up 3 and 4 wide receiver sets, now that he has good enough players to implement that strategy.

  12. “And he may not even want to return them.”

    So, not only will Pettis not see the field on offense unless there’s an injury, but he doesn’t want to return punts either. He’ll just tell Shanahan no. He has leverage. Pettis knows Shanny won’t cut him because that would be admitting failure. He said this too. “You just want to play your rookie year, whether that’s on special teams or offense,” But he clearly doesn’t want to return punts right?

    “After Ross left for the NFL, Pettis became Washington’s No. 1 receiver. That’s when opposing defenses began to focus on shutting him down. And that’s when his production dropped.”

    Good thing we have a legit deep threat like Ross in Goodwin. And a #1 WR in Garcon. Garcon and Goodwin are good, I think I just read that somewhere. “The 49ers have at least three established wide receivers”. Garoppolo is better than Browning, but who cares.

    Bottom line is that the only yards Pettis will get this year will be from rushing and passing on gadget plays. Did I catch your drift?

  13. Good chance this is the end of Avril’s career. If his medicals check out fine, though, I’d definitely sign him to a one or two year deal. He was never a consistent 10-sack per year player, and he certainly isn’t in his prime. But if he can get on the field, I’d think he has a little more juice left than Dumervil did last year.

  14. For what it’s worth Bucky Brooks disagrees with Grant.

    Bucky Brooks predicts Dante Pettis as a 1,000 yard receiver in 2018:

    “A lot of people have just been stuck on his punt return tape because he had nine punt return touchdowns during his time,” Brooks said. “When I’m looking at wide receivers, I want guys who have punt returning in their background because I know they can run with the rock when they get it in their hands.

    “I believe in that offense. We saw Jimmy Garoppolo make stars out of pedestrian players. You give him a legitimate guy like Dante Pettis, look for him to go big. San Francisco is going to be exciting. Dante Pettis is going to be a star in the Bay.”

  15. Anthony Joshua !

    There are a little bit mistakes : you do rotate your right shoulder to punch could be they do hit you chin : important is : 1 2 3 : left left left : to go on distance and to hold on distance and to fight from the distance: 1 2 3 and than 1 left and than left right left : and 1 left and to the chin : 1 left and than 1 2 left and than left right left :chin : and straight to fight against the underarms : 1 2 3 left righ left : and than left underarm and than to the fists : left and than left right left : and underarms again : 1 2 3 : is standard : every punch Jab : 7 /11/21/ that is enough : 41/81/101: is the strongest : lead arm is distanec holder : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 to go on distance: and the same back to go close fight : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0r 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 : 21 times is enough that is okay to get the rhythm: and 1 lead : classic fighter : lead is like straight leg in front and the other leg is back and the punch fist is close to the chin : shoulder lead arm is showing to the fighters is distance holder : than fight : DeontayWilder/JohannDahaupas ist that system : straight chest high : left right left : the same shoulder high ear high and over the head like against the chin : left right left : the others got that is new : chin /stomach site chin stomach site chin face site site chin face site other site chin forehead left and right and left : workout beginning lead and ending lead : chin 1 2 3 left right left and than stomach site right fist 1 and than 1 2 3 and than chin left right and stomach site 1 and 1 2 3 left fist and chin right left and face site right fist and chin and face site and chin left right and than forehead 1 2 3 left fist shoulder back head to the site and than right fist to the forehead 1 2 and 1 left ending ! That is new ! Eddie can give that Tony Bellew that is our movie : Bridge To Terrabithia : i do watch every day one movie online is everything free with bluetooth earphones sports JVC HA-EB75 : and : wirelss headphones for tv you can use two or more too cable you do need ! DVD’s ! I got also RCA Tablet is a big IPAD too at the same time ! Than good Luck ! Training !

  16. CDDP !

    C DOUBLE D P !

    Do you know who that is ?


    Now you know there are only one life there is nothing to loose the fights coming all or nothing !

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