What are the chances of Dante Pettis catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo in 2020?
Seemingly slim. Perhaps none.
The wide receiver fell out of favor in his second season with the 49ers and now seems a likely candidate to be traded or cut loose in some other manner.
After a rookie season in 2018 when the second-round pick caught 27 passes for 467 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games, his sophomore season was a disappointment. He didn’t live up to the expectations of head coach Kyle Shanahan in training camp, then couldn’t work his way back into favor.
Over 11 games in 2019 he caught just 11 passes for 109 yards and two TDs and was an afterthought in the offense even during a time when the Niners desperately needed wide receivers to step up.
Now, after the 49ers parted company with running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin – two players who also fell out of the offensive rotation in 2019 – some NFL analysts see Pettis as the next player likely to leave.
Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com noted Pettis faces competition just to remain on the roster, with the addition of first-round pick Brandon Aiyuk and veteran Travis Benjamin, plus the return of Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Hurd, Trent Taylor and Richie James.
Wrote Barnwell: “Pettis fell out of favor with Kyle Shanahan last season, so he might be the odd man out, even if he is the most talented wideout of that bunch (fighting for roster spots). He also is the most likely to return a mid-round pick via trade.”
Yet others believe Pettis still has terrific talent and will be given one more chance to prove himself.
Pettis is fast, elusive and has shown playmaking ability. He has seven TD catches in just 38 career receptions. That’s good.
Despite injuries and a problem with drops, if Pettis can surface this summer, he could still be a productive player.
Wrote Kyle Posey of Niners Nation: “We’ll find out a lot about Pettis this year. Physically, he’s up to the task. It’s the preparation and mental part of the game that seem
to have the coaches frustrated.”