Obviously there were some expectations for Dante Pettis in 2018, after he was selected in the second round out of Washington. At the end of the day the results weren’t all that impressive, as he was limited to 12 games and managed 27 receptions, 467 yards and 5 TD. Part of the problem could be tied to the quarterback play, as San Francisco played a lot of the year with third string quarterback Nick Mullens under center.
Jimmy Garoppolo should be ready for the start of the season and that alone is going to bring hope for any receiving option in San Francisco. While the offense will likely run through George Kittle and a trio of running backs (Jerick McKinnon, Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida), they are going to need production from the outside without any clear answer.
Pettis is joined by numerous new names on the depth chart, including 2019 draft picks Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd as well as the newly signed Jordan Matthews (plus Marquise Goodwin and others are back in the mix). Which of those players inspire significant hope in 2019? As it is Pettis was tied for fourth on the team in receptions last season, behind Kittle (88 receptions), Kendrick Bourne (42 receptions) and Kyle Juszczyk. That alone, despite the limited playing time, is going to increase the optimism (especially with a year in the offense under his belt).
That doesn’t mean he should be considered a lock to emerge as “the man” in San Francisco. This note, from Walter Football prior to the draft, shows the questions he was facing:
Some scouts really like Pettis and say he is a smooth receiver who is fluid, fast, quick handed, and dangerous after the catch. Other sources have said they think Pettis lacks elusiveness, drops too many passes, and is just a guy.
The 49ers obviously need help on the outside, but would they have used another second round pick on a receiver if they truly believed Pettis was going to emerge? It’s not impossible and there could be a role for both players to make an impact, though the 49ers appear to be going with a quantity type approach. With Kittle leading the way, a strong running game to lean on and numerous wide receivers who can step in are we ready to commit to Pettis as a breakout this season?
He’s currently the 33rd wide receiver coming off the board with an average ADP of 89.0. Considering his ceiling isn’t much higher than that, is there really a value to be found? Maybe he does put together a strong season, but envisioning more than 50-55 receptions would be a mistake. In other words there are better “breakouts” to be found.
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN, Fantasy Pros, Walter Football