In his most recent mailbag, NBC Sports Matt Maiocco talked about the possibility of a compensatory pick if Emmanuel Sanders walks in free agency, some receiver and Arik Armstead talk, as well as the 49ers trading out of the first round. Matt believes the default move would be to trade out of pick No. 31, but advises that the advantage of keeping the first-rounder is that you get to control that player’s contract for five years instead of four. When asked where Dante Pettis could improve as a player, Maiocco said:
Get stronger. Work. Work. Work.
Pettis had a good offseason program a year ago, but he was not the same player when he came back for training camp. Other receivers on the team came back stronger at the opening of camp. Pettis did not. That is why Pettis struggled and fell out of favor to the point he rarely played in the second half of the season.
Pettis needs to take it up another few notches to get stronger and avoid the nagging injuries that also set him back last season. Pettis has more ability than almost anyone on the team to run some of Shanahan’s favorite routes. He will have an opportunity to prove himself in the offseason and training camp this year.
The running joke in training camp was that if you laid a hand on Pettis, he would drop it. Holding onto the ball in practice was the reason we didn’t see Pettis play this season. He didn’t allow Shanahan to have faith in him. Hopefully, that changes in 2020. Pettis remains a big-time talent, especially in this offseason.
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