3 reasons to be excited about 49ers’ Dante Pettis in 2019
By Peter Panacy
Second-year San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis could be on the brink of a major breakout in 2019, and here are three reasons why you should buy into the hype.
In 2018, the San Francisco 49ers moved up to No. 44 overall to select former Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis.
Some draft analysts felt it was a reach, citing Pettis would be little more than a dynamic punt returner and someone who could compete for slot receiver duties.
Early on, those pundits looked as if they were correct. Pettis had some issues, including injuries, and he managed just 108 receiving yards by the time the Niners’ bye week rolled around in Week 11. He also had been removed from punt return duties, too, negating what had been an impressive collegiate career in that category.
Yet the 6-foot-1 Pettis managed to finish strong enough, finishing the season with 359 yards and an additional four touchdowns.
His five total, including an eye-popping grab back in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, broke a franchise record for most receiving touchdowns by a rookie wideout.
Impressive and promising enough.
Pettis’ ascendance late in 2018, combined with a number of other factors, were likely enough to convince Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling the wide receiver would be San Francisco’s player to truly “break out” in 2019.
"Pettis, a second-round pick in 2018, had a knee injury hamper the early portion of his debut season and then resurface near the end. Even so, he finished with 467 yards and five scores despite poor surroundings, which gives bright hope for the future with a starter back under center and the team improved."
That starter, of course, is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was responsible for that impressive touchdown grab in Week 1.
But the hype surrounding Pettis goes beyond Garoppolo, and here are three reasons why you should buy into the hype both Roling and many others are suggesting for the second-year pro this season.