With the 44th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis. The 49ers traded up to get Pettis, giving the Washington Redskins pick Nos. 59 and 74. The Redskins also sent San Francisco pick No. 142.
In four seasons for the Huskies, Pettis (6-foot-1, 186 pounds) racked up 163 receptions for 2,256 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. He also set an NCAA record with nine career punt return touchdowns. His 1,274 career punt return yards are a Pac-12 conference record. Pettis was named first-team All-Pac-12 and was a unanimous All-American selection.
"He's mostly a slot receiver and an outstanding punt returner," Mike Mayock said on the NFL Network's broadcast.
"He's cat-like quick," added Daniel Jeremiah.
It will be intriguing to see how the 49ers plan on deploying Pettis. Trent Taylor had a nice rookie season, both as a punt returner and a slot receiver. Pettis came to 49ers headquarters on an official visit, so he clearly left a lasting impression. He has experience split wide as well as the slot. His ability to take the top off of a defense is what sets him apart from most pure slot receivers.
"I'm hoping to do a lot of different things," Pettis said. "Whether that’s taking a deep post, taking the top off of the defense or getting a little screen and breaking a few tackles, making a big play that way or just moving the chains on third down. You know, there's a lot of different things that I feel I can do that I can translate into the NFL.”