Expert Opinion: WR Dante Pettis’ Profile
One of the many options at wide receiver in this year’s draft is Dante Pettis from Washington. Pettis is 6’1” and 185 lbs. Besides spending time at wide receiver, he has also been a punt returner. In 2017, he was named a Consensus All-American as a punt returner and he holds the record for most career punt return touchdowns in NCAA history.
Pettis played alongside wide receiver John Ross, who was a 1st round pick in last season’s draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2016, playing together, Pettis had 53 catches for 822 yards and 15 touchdowns. If Pettis gets drafted in the right situation, he could be extremely productive.
Dante Pettis comes from an athletic family. His father, Gary Pettis, played for four different teams in his Major League Baseball career and was considered one of the better defensive outfielders in the ‘80s. Also, Dante’s cousin, Austin Pettis, played wide receiver for the Rams and Chargers.
Pettis is an explosive athlete. He has played as an outside and slot receiver, which makes him more valuable as a prospect. He is a precise route runner and has great hands. Pettis has good speed, excellent vision to see the entire field and is agile enough to make people miss. Due to his playmaking abilities, he is dangerous after the catch. While Pettis is not an elite wide receiver, he has a great skill set which will make him an impact player.
Pettis struggles against physical cornerbacks. He needs to add some muscle to his lean frame. He showed some inconsistency at points during the season. Pettis has had some issues with drops which definitely needs to be worked on at the next level. He lacks the bravado usually associated with NFL wide receivers.
Pettis can go as high as the late first round and as low as the fourth round. His versatility in playing outside or in the slot, plus his punt return abilities, can help him get drafted early. Maybe a team like New England or Philadelphia would welcome his usefulness in their offense. However, his lack of physicality against bigger corners can be a big issue and can drop his stock. Also, there are many available wide receivers and a lot will depend on how he fits with a team.
If Pettis is available for the Browns in the 2nd or 3rd round, I think he is an option for them. The Browns will most probably address the wide receiver position in free agency, but should also look at the draft for some options. Pettis can be a #2 receiver as well as a punt returner, both are positions that Browns need to upgrade. Browns new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley has done well with wide receivers over the course of his career. Dante Pettis getting drafted by the Browns will be beneficial for the Browns, for Pettis, for the offense and for special teams.