2. Dante Pettis, WR, 49ers
49ers fans have plenty of reasons to believe in and be skeptical of Dante Pettis. Selected in the second round of the 2018 draft out of the University of Washington, Pettis soon looked like a future top receiving target.
In 2018, Pettis caught 27 passes for five touchdowns and 427 receiving yards. While on paper those numbers don’t stand out, Pettis only played in 12 games, primarily with C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens at quarterback.
However, he was never able to get on the same page as Garoppolo or Shanahan last season. He was targeted just 24 times and only caught 11 passes for 109 yards. Pettis was the only receiving that caught fewer than 60 percent of their targets.
Pettis looked to be on the outside looking in of the 53-man roster headed into this year. Now, with both Aiyuk and Samuel dealing with injuries, he’s not only guaranteed a roster spot but might have to contribute.
So far, the results from training camp have been consistently positive.
The 49ers will need Pettis to step up in the early weeks of the season and with a light early-season schedule, he’s well-positioned to earn a more permanent role before they return.
He remains a fantastic athlete and a solid route runner. His issues have been limiting drops and taking hits going over the middle. He’ll be in prime position to prove he’s developed past those issues.