Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
It has been well documented by me and the media that the 49ers have not had much luck with wide receivers over the past few years. The last receiver to have at least 1,000 yards was Anquan Boldin in 2014 and only three different wide receivers with over 1,000 yards since 2000: Terrell Owens from 2000 to 2003, Michael Crabtree in 2012, then Boldin in 2013 and 2014.
The 49ers did finally have a player over 1,000 yards last season, but it was tight end George Kittle. We all knew the 49ers wide receiver corps was going through an overhaul when they drafted Dante Pettis last season in the second round (they moved up to get him as well). This year, they drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd in the second and third round respectively.
These players are definitely looking to be the future of the 49ers. But could the future come a little early? Could Dante Pettis be a true number-one receiver now? When he was drafted last season, I said he could be the heir apparent to Pierre Garçon.
Look at the wheels on Pettis during the Seahawks game last season, when this guy gets into the open field he can really move.
Not only is he fast when he is in the open field, but look at him stop on a dime and come back to the quarterback, causing the defender to fall down. You cannot get any more open with moves like this in the open field.
The footwork against his defender down in Tampa Bay last season for a touchdown is remarkable for a veteran receiver, let alone a rookie.
And speaking of footwork, let us revisit his first career touchdown from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, hopefully one of many. Not only does he catch the ball with his fingertips but also has the presence of mind to drag the toe. These are things you do not normally see with a rookie in his first game.
His route-running ability, the ability to run from not only the slot but the edge as well: His footwork before and after the catch breaks a lot of ankles from opposing defenders. And of course, we cannot forget about his stiff-arms like this one below.
Dante Pettis has all the tools needed for being a number one wide receiver for the 49ers. Not to mention they moved up last season to get him, they wanted him. So, he has the draft capital from a team that wants to use him. And as an encore he can return puts as well. In fact, he set the NCAA record for career punt returns.
Dante Pettis, not just a future number-one wide receiver or maybe the heir apparent to Pierre Garçon, but the heir apparent and the number-one wide receiver for the 49ers.
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