Round 2, Pick 59: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis
If wide receiver Dante Pettis could have stayed healthy for the entire year, he would definitely get an A-grade. Alas, the injury bug caught up to him far too many times, forcing us to reexamine his year.
Pettis missed five games this season, which put a damper on it for sure. The star punt returner, who held the NCAA record for most punt return touchdowns in a year, was moved off the position following injuries to focus on offense entirely. So really, Pettis couldn’t make that much of an impact.
But just like Mike McGlinchey, Pettis really developed for the 49ers during the season. His breakout game had to have been in Seattle against the Seahawks in Week 13, where he finished with 129 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions.
That game included this play:
This is vintage Pettis. He is deceptively fast, and being a punt returner allows him to exploit tiny holes after the catch. From this game, Pettis became the 49ers de-facto No. 1 wide receiver. Yes, fellow receiver Kendrick Bourne finished with more yards. But in the limited time Pettis played, he was sensational.
Before the season, I wrote how Pettis could easily start in 2019. Back then, it seemed like a hot take, now it seems like reality. Injuries are the only thing that can hold Pettis back.