Now that the 2018 NFL Draft is a wrap, the projections now go to what those drafted rookies can produce in their 1st season. NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks had a segment recently where he identified rookie wide receivers poised to get 1,000 yards and 49ers second round pick Dante Pettis was one of those players. The video is below (Pettis’ name is announced towards the latter half of the video) but here’s Brooks’ comments:
“A lot of people have just been stuck on his punt return tape because he had nine punt return touchdowns during his time. When I’m looking at wide receivers, I want guys who have punt returning in their background because I know they can run with the rock when they get it in their hands. I believe in that offense. We saw Jimmy Garoppolo make stars out of pedestrian players. You give him a legitimate guy like Dante Pettis, look for him to go big. San Francisco should be excited. Dante Pettis is going to be a star in the Bay.”
The 49ers haven’t had a 1,000 yard receiver since 2014, with Anquan Boldin getting 1,062 yards. Coincidentally, that was also Jim Harbaugh’s final season as head coach of the team. They came close in 2017 with Marquise Goodwin, but a concussion in the final game of the season ended his chances and he finished with 962 yards. Given that the 49ers were playing the backups of the Los Angeles Rams in that very game, the chances of Goodwin getting past the 1,000 yard mark is very believable.
Dante Pettis has been a discussion. The sky is the limit for the receiver and it’s speculated he will be used all over the field in various packages. Given his versatility to play in and out of the slot, his route-running ability, and other intangibles, 1,000 yards is not entirely out of the question.
The thing to keep in mind though is the 49ers were without Pierre Garçon a good chunk of 2017, and while Goodwin stepped up in his absence, Jimmy Garoppolo—and Kyle Shanahan by extension—like to spread the ball around. There’s always a go-to guy but the 49ers may very well be throwing the ball around, especially with all the talented wide receivers they have on the roster now. Given the passing game, this is definitely a possibility.