San Francisco 49ers: Predicting 5 surprises for the 53-man roster in 2020

Kevin Givens #60 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Kevin Givens #60 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Dante Pettis, 49ers
Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Wide Receiver Dante Pettis — KEEP

Remember when I said Jerick McKinnon was the most frustrating player over the last couple of years?

Well, wide receiver Dante Pettis is probably a close second.

Drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the expectations were very high for the rookie. After a slow start, Pettis had a strong finish in his last five games of the season racking up 359 yards and four touchdowns, then justifying the 49ers’ efforts to trade up for him in the round.

Coming into last year, Pettis was generating a lot of buzz. Almost every news outlet proclaimed him as a 2019 breakout candidate. It did not take long for the hype to die down as reports out of training camp told a whole different story. Dropped passes, lack of toughness and chatter about Pettis coming into camp out of shape did not sit well with Kyle Shanahan. With the emergence of then-rookie wideout Deebo Samuel and poor play from Pettis it didn’t take long for Shanahan to phase Pettis out of the offense completely, all the way to him being inactive for Super Bowl LIV.

Pettis faces an uphill battle to make the roster in training camp. Since being drafted the team has drafted a total of four receivers and three of them have been drafted in the first three rounds. But Pettis should be given one more chance, particularly with Samuel suffering an offseason foot fracture. San Francisco’s wide receiver room is pretty thin, at least giving Pettis another shot to hang around despite the drop in 2019.

He has shown some flashes but he needs to put it all together, and that starts in training camp this year.