The 49ers traded up with Washington to acquire the 44th overall pick in the draft and used it to select University of Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis . He is son of major league baseball player Gary Pettis and cousin to former Rams and Chargers receiver Austin Pettis. He spoke to the media following being selected by the 49ers.
Congratulations. I’m wondering, are you back home or how did you find out the news?
“Yeah, I’m at home. I got a call from [general manager] John Lynch. He told me, so I mean, yeah, pretty fired up.”
I covered you back when you were in the Pac-12, and now you get to stay on the West Coast. How important or how thankful are you that you get to stay near home?
“That’s awesome. I mean, I’m like an hour plane ride or whatever from home, so it will be easy for my family to come out and make the games and everything. Still on the West Coast, it’s awesome.”
Had you had any contact with the 49ers or much contact with the 49ers?
“Yeah, I mean, I went out on a visit just. They told me that they really liked me. That was pretty much it. The visit was the most contact that I had with them.”
You’re known for your return skills. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?
“Yeah, I mean, obviously, I’m, you know, 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.”
How does the NFL game feature what you can do as a receiver? How do you expect to make your mark in the NFL?
“I mean, I’m hoping to do a lot of different things. Whether that’s taking a deep post, taking the top off of the defense or getting a little screen and breaking a few tackles, making a big play that way or just moving the chains on third down. You know, there’s a lot of different things that I feel I can do that I can translate into the NFL.”
Do you take a lot of pride in your route running?
“Yeah, I absolutely do.”
How familiar are you with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense?
“I’m pretty familiar with it. I’ve obviously watched a lot of football so I’ve seen a lot of what he does, so I’m pretty familiar.”
I know you’re a big, big reader. I’ve read that piece on you. How does that translate or potentially translate to reading and memorizing and deciphering an NFL playbook?
“I mean, I think it translates pretty well. You know, if you have the discipline to sit down and read, it won’t be too hard to sit down and have to read a playbook. I mean, especially one that’s something like this where it’s your job. It’s kind of a little bit more of an incentive to do it.”
Where did you line up mostly with Washington and how did they use you on offense?
“So, the first three years, I was pretty much an outside receiver. But, my last year there, they kind of moved me all around. I was playing outside and I was playing inside and they lined me up in the backfield and motioned me out. I did a lot of different things this last year, and it was a lot of fun.”
Your dad has kind of set the bar pretty high for being a pro athlete in the family. Have you had a chance to talk to him and what was it like growing up with that?
“I haven’t. I haven’t talked to him yet. They actually have a game right now. They just started about 20 minutes ago. Hopefully he’ll come in during one of the innings and you know can call me. So, I haven’t talked to him yet. I mean, it was awesome growing up. I’ve been around professional sports my whole life. I already have the lay of the land. Obviously, football is a little bit different than baseball, but for the most part it’s still a professional sport. They all go about their business pretty much the same way. I’m just excited to actually be here now.”