Round 2, Pick 44
Actual pick: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
New pick: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
At the time of the pick, the 49ers looked to have made a rather shrewd move, selecting a player in Washington wideout Dante Pettis who was a spectacular athlete and had the ability to not only lineup as a receiver, but to return punts, having set the NCAA record for return touchdowns with nine.
But early in his rookie season, it looked like Pettis might not live up to the promise, as injuries and erratic quarterback play complicated his development.
A late season surge where he caught more than three balls each game for a six week stretch brought his season totals up to 27 catches for 467 yards and five touchdowns, before being placed on IR in late December, ending his season.
All the conversation during the offseason leading into this season was about how Pettis was poised for a breakout season and was ready to handle the load of a being the 49ers no. 1 receiver. But Pettis has responded by essentially disappearing during his sophomore season, closing out the regular season with just 11 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
It might be too early to really tell is Pettis is actually a bust, but it isn’t looking good for the wide receiver, who either isn’t grasping something about the offense or isn’t making the most of his chances during practices, but at this point, it feels like a change of scenery could do him good.
So with the re-draft, we’ll add another weapon to Jimmy Garoppolo’s cadre, with the exchange of Pettis for Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, who was taken by Arizona three picks after Pettis.
The production difference is certainly stark, as Kirk has hauled in 111 catches for 1299 and six scores in the passing game, tacking on 13 rushes for 128 yards on the ground. And while this doesn’t guarantee the numbers would remain the same as a 49ers player, they definitely matchup more with the type of production you’re looking for from a second-round pick.
And while Kirk hasn’t exactly been the picture of health during his two season (he’s played in 25 games to Pettis’ 23), he has remained a key cog in Arizona’s offense, especially in his second season.
Round 4, Pick 128
Actual pick: Kentavius Street, DT, NC State
New pick: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State
This is the story of two players who were considered first-round talents, but various circumstances led them dropping in the draft.
For Kentavius Street, the defensive tackle out of North Carolina State, the circumstance was tearing his ACL in a pre-draft workout, causing him to fall much further than he might have if fully healthy.
The 49ers took him in the 4th round, and the sum total of his contributions to the team thus far aren’t just essentially nil, they are almost exactly that.
After spending his entire rookie season on IR, he began 2019 in the same way, before being designated to return on December 4, 2019. He would play in 38 defensive snaps and two on special teams in the final three weeks of the season, totaling four tackles and one for loss in those games.
He was placed back on IR in early January to make room for the return of linebacker Kwon Alexander. Not exactly what you want from a fourth-round draft pick.
On the other side of this story, now-Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat isn’t exactly filling up the stat sheet, with just 20 total tackles, four sacks, and 11 QB hits in 25 career games, mostly in 2019. But given the depth of the 49ers defensive line this season, and edge rusher Dee Ford’s injuries, Sweat might have been helpful.
Sweat, who slipped in the draft due to medical concerns as well, went just two picks after Street. And while it is unfair to blame the lack of production from the fourth round pick fully on the player, it feels like Lynch and Shanahan could have gone a slightly different direction here and at least gotten something out of the pick.