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Dante Pettis Could Provide Good Depth For The Redskins At WR But He Can Shine As A Returner

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Montana at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Dante Pettis, WR
School: Washington | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 186 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Paul Richardson

College Statistics

Player Overview

Dante Pettis was a 3-star prospect out of San Juan Capistrano, California who comes from an athletic pedigree. Pettis was a three-way athlete in high school who played cornerback, ran track, and played basketball. His dad is Gary Pettis a five-time golden glove centerfielder who played with the California Angels, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers in the 1980s and into the early 1990s. You might remember his cousin Austin Pettis who played for the Rams a few years ago as a wide receiver as well. Dante will be looking to have a lot of success in the NFL using his athleticism. He did just that at Washington and was a threat as a receiver for the Huskies as well as a threat as a return man. Pettis relies on his speed and acceleration to beat his man as a receiver - he does the same as a returner and excels in making some nifty short area moves aided by his quickness and agility. He had an excellent year statistically last year but his production suffered this past year as Washington’s passing game sputtered at times. Pettis had a good year this season but he struggled against top competition igniting a debate whether or not he can become a true #2 WR in addition to the shots he’ll get as a returner.

Strengths

  • Excellent speed and athleticism for the position with good short area quickness.
  • When he is given a free release on off coverage he eats up the cushion in a hurry. He is a threat at all three levels of the field and can play outside or inside. He’s displayed good awareness and concentration when making catches and tracking the ball.
  • Added versatility because he can return kicks. He has a great feel for space and his vision is great going up the field he understands how to take certain angles and use his blocks.
  • Hands look natural and strong.

Weaknesses

  • He is a finesse receiver that plays way too passive and soft. He is not going anywhere if he is jammed at the LOS.
  • He struggles to get separation from physical corners that have similar athletic talents.
  • Did not put up impressive production against more well-regarded defenses this year.
  • Frame is thin and since he’s not a 4.3 guy he could stand to add a bit of weight and strength to help him match up against bigger opponents.

Let's see his work:

More Dante Pettis videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Pettis was talked about a little here in the HogsHaven comments before the Redskins signed Paul Richardson. After watching him I came away less impressed with him than I believe the overall tone of those comments led me to believe. I think Pettis has a good amount of talent but I think his ceiling is pretty clear and it can be a lot lower if he doesn't start playing with some sand in his pants. He is very effective as a punt and kick returner and if he gets a clean release off the LOS he can cause a lot of damage especially off play action. If I were an NFL corner though I would look at Pettis’ tape and be confident that I could bully the guy all game with minimal consequences. Pettis must develop a quicker step or learn how to fight off press coverage and gain separation otherwise I don't see him being very effective at the next level. The great thing for Pettis is that he can line up just about anywhere on the field. I don't see him as being limited to a slot receiver role or as a gimmick receiver. I think he has enough speed and athleticism for his deep threat ability to translate into the NFL. He also runs his routes pretty well with good levels of precision. He has talent but he’s not ready to be thrown out there on day 1. He’ll need to work on fighting coverage and I think it would serve him well to get a bit bigger and stronger. He could certainly take over fielding punts for Jamison Crowder and he would be a nice depth option considering the skills of the current crop of receivers on the Redskins.