Loser: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis
His chances to ascend back into Kyle Shanahan’s graces were already slim entering this offseason. But wide receiver Dante Pettis‘ stock value to the 49ers took a couple of hits during the NFL Draft.
The first, obviously, was the team’s move-up selection of Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25 overall.
Aiyuk, like Pettis, was also a prolific return specialist at the college level in addition to his pass-catching talents. And while it’s doubtful the Niners will put Aiyuk into a position where he’s returning kicks and punts right away his rookie season, that versatility could potentially cross off any remaining need San Francisco has for Pettis.
Plus, like most first-round picks, the 49ers will be willing to give plenty more chances to Aiyuk to prove himself. Pettis no longer has that luxury.
In addition, the seventh-round selection of Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings closes off yet another spot on the likely depth chart, although it’s no guarantee Jennings makes the cut.
But Jennings offers something few of the Niners’ other wide receivers have: playmaking strength. That’s not Pettis’ forte, and it’s possible Shanahan wants to vary his pass-catching corps in a means where Pettis no longer figures to be a major player.