No. 2: A Full Year to Acclimate to the NFL Level
Former 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh used to stress players make their biggest leaps, performance wise, between years one and two.
Considering how well Dante Pettis finished his rookie season, one might suspect he’ll have that big leap in 2019.
Pettis’ footwork and route running were already exceptional coming out of college. And despite the lowish stat totals overall, he was able to flash those talents his rookie season. Just check out the video, as Pettis (lined up at the bottom of the screen) manages to elude his defender quickly and get open for a touchdown:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense is predicated on separation and route running. Pettis has already demonstrated he can do this.
But the offense is also highly intricate, requiring players to know and understand a complex system of play calls and routes. When it’s firing on all cylinders, it’s one of the most difficult schemes to stop, defensively.
If there was a knock against Pettis last season, it was his 195-pound frame wasn’t solid enough to withstand NFL-level press coverage.
Pettis revealed he added weight during the offseason. As long as that doesn’t hinder his already-proven abilities, Pettis’ bulked strength should only serve to improve his potency.