How 49ers WR Dante Pettis answered questions about his off-field interests

How 49ers WR Dante Pettis answered questions about his off-field interests

In the lead-up to the NFL draft, Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis took official visits to meet with six teams.

Each team had the same questions, the same concerns, he revealed on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“I’m not shy about what I like outside of football,” Pettis said. “So a lot of people take that as, ‘Oh, maybe he’s not bought into football all the way.’ So they’ll try to get that out of me. ‘How committed is he to football?’ So I think that’s the biggest thing they’re trying to get. But, I'd say that what I wanted to get across worked.”

It certainly worked for the 49ers. The team traded up to select Pettis in the second round of the draft with the No. 44 overall selection.

The off-field matters that might have concerned some teams had nothing to do with his character. Pettis majored in creative writing, and he likes literature, photography, movies and music. And to some teams, that might have been a red flag.


“I’m very interested in art,” Pettis said. “I feel like that’s really different for a football player. A lot of people have stuff they like to do outside of football, but if it’s something that’s different, it’s like, ‘Hold on, he likes to do what?’

“So that’s what caught their eye, and the fact I’m not afraid to say it, too, I think they wanted to make sure I was all in.”

Pettis had to prove to teams that he was more passionate about football than he was about his outside interests.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re like off the field, it’s what you’re like on the field,” Pettis said. “And the fact that art and all that stuff breeds creativity, I think that helps a ton. You can look at things differently.”

Pettis had a record-setting nine punt returns for touchdowns in his college career. Coach Kyle Shanahan said a benefit to adding Pettis to his 49ers offense is Pettis' versatiity. Pettis is capable of playing every receiver position.

After playing almost exclusively on the outside in his first three college seasons, Pettis lined up in the slot as a senior. He caught 63 passes for 761 yards and seven touchdowns. He said his creative side helped him make that transition.

“Playing the slot is a lot more different than playing the other two outside positions because you look at the field differently, you go against different people. You go against a linebacker, a safety, a nickel, whatever,” Pettis said. “And you run a different route tree, so you have to approach the game differently.

“You might have to slow down your routes because you don’t want to run through a window too fast or run into another guy. Being able to look at the game differently helps a lot.”

49ers seven-round NFL mock draft: Three defenders, two weapons added


49ers seven-round NFL mock draft: Three defenders, two weapons added

The 49ers have 184 players on their draft board.

It is a lower number of prospects than the 49ers have listed in the three seasons with John Lynch as general manager. Lynch said it speaks to the belief that it is going to be more difficult for a rookie to come in and win a roster spot this season.

[RELATED: 49ers strongly considering Williams at No. 2]

The 49ers have a scheduled six draft picks, a number that might change as the 49ers determine over the course of the three-day selection meeting whether to end up with fewer players due to trade-ups or attempt to move back to acquire more players.

If they stay where they’re scheduled to choose, the 49ers' draft could look something like this:


Reggie Cobb's son will announce 49ers' second-round pick in NFL draft


Reggie Cobb's son will announce 49ers' second-round pick in NFL draft

The 49ers have announced that DeMarcus Cobb, son of the late Reggie Cobb, will announce the team’s second-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft alongside San Francisco alum Earl Cooper. 

General manager John Lynch opened up his pre-draft media availability with a heartfelt message about the longtime scout. He spoke about the effect that Cobb had, not only in the 49ers building, but around the league as well. 

“The outpouring from the league has just been unbelievable,” Lynch said. “The scouts, the coaches, GMs. He touched the NFL community and I think far beyond that. We’re finding out more and more each minute with the correspondence we’re having with people.” 

Lynch also hinted that DeMarcus would be involved in honoring his father with the team in some form. They will also keep his seat in the draft room empty the entire weekend. 

Cobb was the western regional scout for the 49ers for the past 11 seasons after spending six years with the Buccaneers as an area scout. He had a seven-season career in the NFL that included one year as a teammate of Lynch in Tampa Bay. 

Lynch elaborated on how Cobb’s work will influence how the 49ers draft evolves this week. 

[RELATED: 49ers strongly considering Williams with No. 2 overall pick]

“Reggie’s imprint will be on this draft,” Lynch said. “He worked incredibly hard, as he always did in the preparation for it. I’d love nothing more than to be able to take a player that he scouted hard. 

“We have enough cross checks and all that, that he’ll have his imprint on this draft in some form or fashion. Certainly, by the way, he just had a spirit about him that was something special.”