WR Dante Pettis, Washington*

6’1” – 186 lbs. – 4.50e

 Profile: 

  • Cousin is former pro receiver Austin Pettis. Started five of thirteen games as a true freshman, also returning punts. Retained his return job and started eight games the followin year, then became more of a full-time starter before declaring for the draft. Wiry wide receiver who’s tall enough to potentially stay on the outside, although many teams may view him as more of a slot option because his frame lacks bulk; at Washington, played extensively both inside and outside.

 Positives:

  • Game is predicated on using his speed to run routes down the field. Bread and butter is essentially a deep out, sometimes from a slot release, which lets him create separation against opponents playing in off-coverage. Teams respected his speed and generally played off of him in college, although he didn’t run at either the Combine or his pro day. Quick feet to release at the line versus press. Appears to have enough juice to beat defenders over the top, especially because he does a pretty good job of working in head fakes and adding some nuance to his routes. Off the line of scrimmage, is a long-strider who gets up to full speed relatively quickly. Able to track the ball over his shoulder when going deep. Flashes the ability to pluck the ball away from his frame. Dynamic punt returner who has the vision and elusiveness to recognize cutback opportunities and make opponents miss in order to create big gains with the ball in his hands.

 Negatives: 

  • Production was inconsistent on a game-to-game basis, and fell off as a senior. Wasn’t asked to do much work which took him over the middle of the field. Route tree is a little bit simple at this point and didn’t run many shorter patterns, so how he’d transition to a full-time slot job in some offenses is a question mark. Because his speed is good but not great, will need to polish his game. Could sink his hips more consistently at the route stem. Struggles to make contested catches; doesn’t really have the frame to shield defenders from the ball, and isn’t particularly aggressive in working back. Does he have the strength to release at the line against bump and run coverage in the pros? Has some struggles with positioning as a blocker, although he generally gives good effort and has a chippy on-field temperament.

 Summary:

  • The type of competitive – if slightly undersized – inside/outside target who would fit well with a team like the Lions or Seahawks. At the least, should be able to serve as a primary punt returner who can threaten defenses downfield from the slot, and could conceivably end up playing some flanker as well.
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