Optimists such as myself watch television and read the news just like everybody else and understand the grim situation. However, we also wake up each morning determined to ignore the proclamations of impending doom. Instead we like to keep an open mind, staying focused on what is positive and tangible.
Last Sunday, in an otherwise forgettable loss to the Seattle Seahawks, rookie wide receiver Dante Pettis shined with a career day. Pettis’ ability to run after the catch was on full display. His longest reception went 75 yards as he was able to out run Seattle’s entire defense. He ended the day with five receptions for 129 yards (25.8 average), and two touchdowns.
The 49ers traded a third round pick to move up in the second round to select Pettis (44th overall of the 2018 NFL Draft). He was the fourth wide receiver to be selected that year. Some draft experts suggested that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan reached on the young Pettis’ selection g receiver out of Washington.
Many fans, myself included, were expecting the team to select an edge rusher, not a receiver at that spot. The ramifications from the 49ers’ selection of Pettis are still up for debate.
Kyle Shanahan had his own ideas and now his reach is starting to pay dividends. Pettis is finally healthy after struggling most of the season with a knee injury. With a couple of impressive performances under his belt he’s starting to show the NFL just how smart the 49ers were to draft him.
Count Jerry Rice as one of his biggest supporters. Speaking this week on 95.7 The Game, he had this to say about Pettis’ big play ability…
“When you make a catch like that — and I did it over and over during practice, during training camp — it was all about finishing,” . “I saw some flashes yesterday, and he was able to get into the end zone twice. You can tell he’s having a great time on that football field right now”.
Jerry wasn’t the only one to take notice. Pettis was also nominated for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week Award and according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, he was the 4th fastest receiver in week 13. The speedster went a blistering 20.27 mph during his 75-yard touch down reception against Seattle.
In nine games this season, Dante Pettis has 16 receptions for 314 yards, averaging 19.6 yards per reception. If Pettis can keep it up, he’s on pace for 700 yards receiving this season, which isn’t bad, all things considered.
Fellow receiver Marquise Goodwin returned Monday after missing two games due to family issues. Shanahan said in his presser that he expects Goodwin to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Pierre Garcon’s could miss another week.
Never the less, Pettis will have his opportunities, but it will be up to the rookie to make the most of them. The 49ers will be playing at home for the next three weeks, which should bode well for the offense. We’ll all find out soon enough, but so far the results have been encouraging. In the mean time, I think I’ll stay cautiously optimistic.
- ^”NFL Dante Pettis -ESPN”. ESPN.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- ^Fann, Joe (April 27, 2018). “San Francisco 49ers Draft Washington WR Dante Pettis”. 49ers.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- ^”2018 NFL Draft Listing”. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
- ^”Dante Pettis: Career Stats at NFL”. NFL.com. Retrieved December 4, 2018.