Dante Pettis – Wide Receiver
School: University of Washington
Weight: 195 pounds
Dante Pettis NFL Draft Profile
Dante Pettis always finds a way to produce on the field, whether it’s in the pass game, the return game and he can even throw the football (3/5 for 125 yards and 1 touchdown during his career). His punt return production is no secret to college football fans as he’s the all-time career punt return TD leader with nine of them.
Pettis is a long, athletic player who can find a way to produce whether he is inside, outside or returning a punt. He comes from an athletic family as his father, Gary, has five Gold Gloves as a centerfielder in the major leagues. His cousin, Austin, is Boise State’s all time leading receiver and played four seasons with the St. Louis Rams.
We saw a drop off in Pettis’ production from 2016-2017, but some of that can be attributed to losing his running mate and 2017’s number nine overall pick John Ross didn’t help. Pettis only caught seven touchdowns in 2017, which was down from 15 in 2016, but those numbers don’t define his season.
He caught 10 more passes than he did during his junior campaign despite Washington becoming a very run-heavy team in the second half of the season. They were plagued by injuries, including three to the receiver corps.
Again, Pettis produces no matter where you put him on the field. His special teams value makes him that much more attractive to NFL teams. His numbers during his senior year don’t define who he truly is. While he might not offer true number one receiver potential at the next level, he is a solid security blanket for any NFL quarterback. He could very quickly become a trustworthy pass-catcher to look for in high-pressure scenarios. He has also become a well refined run blocker, which is another way he can be utilized by an NFL team.
There is only one thing that Pettis doesn’t and that’s drop passes. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com calls his hands, “stick-and-stay hands.” He is an excellent route runner and his fast feet move cornerbacks off his routes.
Pettis’ long, almost galloping strides make him look slower than he actually is. At Washington’s Husky Combine the last two years, he’s run 40-yard dashes in the high 4.3 seconds and low 4.4’s. Pettis also placed in the top five of the three cone drill and the vertical jump.
Pettis is a very long, lanky guy and it shows in his game. He can get bullied at time by powerful, more physical corners. This can be a major problem in the NFL, as big, physical corners could easily throw Pettis off his routes and his game.
Some scouts have questioned Pettis’ ability to be consistent at the NFL level from looks at his stat sheet. Six of his seven touchdowns during his senior year came during just two games. That has some questioning whether Pettis could really be a viable option week after week.
Pettis is an incredibly athletic receiver who has high upside both in the passing game and as a punt returner. With hands that any QB would love, he should be able to fit right in with any NFL offense. He should see a decent amount of playing time as a rookie, whether it be as a return man or a receiver. Watch out for him at the Combine, because we should see him fly up some draft boards depending on his 40-yard dash time.
NFL Player Comparison
A slower Ted Ginn with better hands
Teams With Need at Wide Receiver
Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers