Position: Wide receiver/return man
Selection: Second round (No. 44 overall)
Scouting report: Pettis is a well-rounded, accomplished receiver who also excelled in the return game. Pettis returned nine punts for touchdowns in his four-year career, including four as a senior. The previous record of eight was shared by Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins (2001-04) and Texas Tech’s Wes Welker (2000-03). In Pettis’ final two college seasons, he caught 116 passes for 1,583 yards and 22 touchdowns. His father, Gary Pettis, was one of Major League Baseball’s top stolen base artists and a five-time Golden Glove center fielder during a 12-year career. He is now third base coach with the Houston Astros.
Projected role: Pettis is another chess piece for coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He is versatile enough to line up anywhere in the formation, including the slot. Pettis’ arrival could push Trent Taylor to the sideline. Pettis is a dynamic return man and should give the 49ers more big-play ability in the return game. Taylor averaged a respectable 9.4 yards on 30 punt returns. The 49ers traded up with Washington. The 49ers also received a fifth-round pick (No. 142) and gave up a second-rounder (No. 59) and a third-rounder (No. 74).
"I’m hoping to do a lot of different things, whether that’s taking the top off the defense on a deep post or taking a little screen and breaking some tackles and making a big play that way. Or moving the chains on third down. There’s a lot of different things I can do that translate to the NFL" --Dante Pettis.
"Obviously, I'm a punt returner. I would like to continue doing that. And if I need to be a kick returner, too, I'm open to that. I'm open to just whatever will help the team out" -- Pettis.
“You talk about a dynamic player. This is a guy who has tremendous versatility at the wide receiver position. He’s a finisher. He scores touchdowns” – 49ers GM John Lynch.
“He’s extremely talented. Very good route-runner. He can separate. He has extremely good hands. Very quick. Fast enough to run all the routes. Then when you meet him and see how smart he is and how hard he works, you get why he’s the full package” – 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.
“We feel he fills a lot of spots for us. We’re happy with our group. We have a lot of good players before we got Pettis. We think Pettis does a little bit of everything. I think we can use him sometimes similar to how we use Marquise (Goodwin), if need be. I think we can use him inside, similar to how we use Trent (Taylor), if need be. And I think he has the hands and the toughness, and we can use him similar to Pierre (Garçon). In the meantime, he’s going to be a very good punt returner, too. He can help you on all four downs” -- Shanahan.