Dante Pettis

49ers Notes: Pettis, Taylor, Coleman

49ers wideout Dante Pettis was a second-round pick last year and showed some flashes of promise in his rookie campaign, picking up 27 catches for 467 yards (good for an excellent 17.3 yards-per-reception) and five touchdowns. But he has consistently failed to come up with contested catches in training camp, and he was the only first-stringer from the 49ers’ initial depth chart to play in the club’s preseason opener Saturday.

The consensus has been that Pettis is a surefire starter for San Francisco this year, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said Pettis is not guaranteed a starting job, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Shanahan acknowledged that Pettis has a great deal of room for improvement, and he said he put Pettis in the game because he wanted the second-year pro to compete and to start elevating his game.

Rookie wideouts Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel played well in their NFL debuts, while Pettis had one target and no catches.

Now for more from the 49ers:

  • We heard yesterday that receiver Trent Taylor underwent surgery on a broken foot and would miss some regular season action. As Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter), Shanahan says that Taylor sustained a Jones fracture but that the team caught the injury before he suffered a complete break, so he may miss only four to six weeks. There is some hope that Taylor will be able to suit up for Week 1, but that still seems unlikely.
  • We have conflicting reports on the severity of the injury that OT Shon Coleman suffered Saturday night. Colemean suffered a lower right leg injury, and Matt Barrows of The Athletic says that while Coleman will get an MRI Monday, the injury is expected to be a season-ender (Twitter link). Branch hears the same (via Twitter), but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Coleman’s recovery will take several months. RapSheet classifies the injury as a dislocated ankle.
  • Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Areas says the 49ers will need to look for another swing tackle in the wake of Coleman’s injury, and he suggests that the team could re-sign Garry Gilliam to fill that role (Twitter link). Gilliam served as San Francisco’s swing tackle in each of the past two seasons, and though he remains a free agent, he has received interest from other clubs.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/29/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Injury Updates: Crawford, Gurley, Foles

Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field today following a scary collision with Buccaneers offensive lineman Ryan Jensen. Fortunately, it sounds like the veteran will be alright. Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that a scan and MRI of Crawford’s neck came back as negative, and the lineman has been released from the hospital.

“Everything checks out very good,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I’m really pleased with the initial MRIs, all the examinations. He went on to the hospital and had those examinations. . . .He doesn’t seem to have structural issues at all.”

Crawford is having another productive season in 2018, compiling 34 tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus currently ranks Crawford 36th among 116 eligible interior defenders. If the lineman is forced to miss any time, the Cowboys could turn to former first-rounder Taco Charlton to fill in.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Rams running back Todd Gurley was forced to miss today’s win against the Cardinals, but it doesn’t sound like the Pro Bowler will be out for an extended amount of time. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the injury is “really a day-to-day thing,” and the team will continue to evaluate the ailment. While Gurley’s status for next weekend is still up in the air, it sounds like the running back will be good to go come playoff time. Fortunately for the Rams, the team’s running game didn’t seem to miss a beat without Gurley, as recently-signed veteran C.J. Anderson finished today’s contest with 167 rushing yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.
  • Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was briefly knocked out of today’s win over the Texans after suffering a hit from Jadeveon Clowney. While backup Nate Sudfeld made a brief appearance, Foles was able to return to the game and lead Philly to a much-needed victory. It also sounds like the veteran’s status for next week isn’t in doubt, as Foles told reporters that he is doing “great” (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). The signal-caller did acknowledge that he had X-rays taken after the game.
  • DeSean Jackson played today despite being list as questionable with a thumb injury, but the Buccaneers wideout was knocked out of the second half of his team’s game against the Cowboys with a foot injury. As Williams points out, the veteran lost his shoe on his only reception of the game, and he subsequently limped to the sideline before “collapsing in pain.” It sounds like Jackson doesn’t have much of a future in Tampa Bay, and today may have marked his final game with the organization. If the receiver doesn’t play next week, he’ll have finished the season with 41 receptions for 774 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Vontaze Burfict‘s return from a concussion didn’t last very long. The Bengals linebacker was knocked out of today’s game against the Browns with a concussion (via Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com). The veteran had just returned from a two-game absence, and he showed his dissatisfaction with today’s concussion by “angrily snatch[ing] his arm away from a member of the team’s athletic training staff.” This would mark the 28-year-old’s seventh reported concussion since he entered the NFL in 2012.
  • A pair of 49ers wideouts suffered injuries today, but they don’t sound as bad as they may have looked. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that rookie receiver Dante Pettis suffered an MCL injury, which is much better than the ACL injury that some were expecting. The second-round rookie has been productive in recent weeks, and he’s hauled in 24 receptions for 446 yards and five scores this season. Meanwhile, teammate Marquise Goodwin suffered an Achilles injury, but Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that the injury isn’t serious. After a breakout season in 2017, Goodwin has struggled this year, compiling 20 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.

NFC Notes: Packers, Falcons, 49ers, Lions

The Packers could potentially be without two starting receivers when they face the Lions on Sunday, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Randall Cobb is dealing with a hamstring injury and worked out with a rehab group during practice today, while Geronimo Allison is in the concussion protocol. If neither pass-catcher can go, Green Bay will be forced to turn to a pair of rookie receivers, Marques Valdez-Scantling and J’Mon Moore. Valdez-Scantling took over slot duties last week while Cobb was out, so he’d probably play there in three-wide sets against Detroit. For what it’s worth, No. 1 Packers wide receiver Davante Adams was listed as limited with a calf injury on Wednesday, but he’s expected to be ready for Sunday’s divisional matchup.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Week 5 presents a good news/bad news situation for the Falcons, as running back Devonta Freeman is expected to return from a multi-game absence while defensive tackle Grady Jarrett will miss Sunday’s game against the Steelers with an ankle injury, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The 1-3 Falcons have scored plenty of points with Tevin Coleman filling in for Freeman, but the latter’s return will nonetheless add another dimension to an already potent offense. Jarrett, for his part, is one of the best players left on an Atlanta defense that has already lost safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal, plus linebacker Deion Jones, for the year. The Falcons rank as a bottom-six defense in yards allowed, scoring, and Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
  • 49ers rookie wideout Dante Pettis has already been ruled out for San Francisco’s Week 5 contest against the Cardinals, reports Matt Barrows of The Athletic (Twitter link). Pettis, the 44th overall selection in this year’s draft, injured his knee on a punt return in Week 4. The Washington product produced nearly 100 receiving yards over the first two games of the season, but hasn’t caught a pass since. Fellow receiver Marquise Goodwin, who’s been hampered by a hamstring ailment all season, didn’t practice today and could also conceivably miss Sunday’s action, meaning Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor, among others, could be in for more looks.
  • Even after fracturing his hand in Week 4, Lions safety Quandre Diggs practiced on Wednesday and should be available for Sunday, as Justin Rogers of the Detroit News writes. Diggs, who inked a three-year, $18.6MM extension last month, has played the second-most snaps of any Detroit defender this season. If Diggs unexpectedly can’t play against the Packers, Tavon Wilson would take over at strong safety.

49ers Sign Second-Round WR Dante Pettis

The 49ers have wrapped up their 2018 rookie class by inking second-round wide receiver Dante Pettis, the club announced tonight.

With Pettis under contract, only quarterback Sam Darnold of the Jets and linebacker Roquan Smith of the Bears unsigned, and offset language is likely holding up those deals. IT stands to figure both Darnold and Smith will reach deals in the near future, especially as their respective teams begin training camp this week.

Pettis, the 44th overall selection, had been the only second-round pick without a contract. According to Over the Cap, Pettis’ four-year deal should be worth roughly $6.4MM in total. Pettis will collect a ~$2.735MM signing bonus, and count for approximately $1.164MM on the Browns’ 2018 salary cap.

The 49ers have two clear starters at wideout in the form of Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, but there are no other serious impediments to Pettis seeing snaps on offense. He’s been learning every receiver spot in San Francisco’s offense, but he’ll likely see quite a bit of time in the slot now that Trent Taylor is starting training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacrmento Bee.

Here’s a full recap of San Francisco’s draft class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Only Seven Unsigned NFL Draft Picks Remain

The overwhelming majority of this year’s NFL draft picks have signed their rookies deals. As training camp gets started, only the following seven players are without contracts:

For Mayfield, Darnold, Ward, Allen, and Smith, the holdup is reportedly tied to offset languagePlayers with offset language who are cut before the end of their rookie contract have the remaining guaranteed money reduced by whatever they earns elsewhere. Without offset language, players get to double dip. Top 10 picks expect to complete their rookie contracts, but it’s an important issue for agents nonetheless. There’s no sign of real acrimony between any of the Top 10 picks and their respective teams, though Smith has been staying away from the Bears.

In Edmunds’ case, it’s likely that his agent is haggling over guarantees in the fourth year of his rookie contract. First-rounders selected near the end of the first round often don’t get the entirety of their fourth season base salary guaranteed, but that’s an area where agents can press for a bit extra in talks. Seahawks rookie running back Rashaad Penny took less in fourth-year guarantees than last year’s No. 27 overall pick, talks dragged for several other players near the back end of the round. Others, such as Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan have signed, but the Virginia Tech product is still in limbo.

Pettis is believed to be in line for a significant role this season, so it would behoove the Niners to get a deal done sooner rather than later.

49ers Notes: Rookies, Pettis, Tight End, Garnett

49ers second-round wideout Dante Pettis has an opportunity to contribute right away. Thanks to injuries to Trent Taylor and Marquise Goodwin, the Washington product received plenty of practice reps during OTAs, spending time in the slot and on the outside. While the rookie probably won’t be starting by the time the regular season comes around, the coaching staff is still confident he’ll play a role next season.

“It’s just nice when you have guys who can do different things that you aren’t handcuffed in a game,” head coach Kyle Shanahan told Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. “Similar to how Aldrick Robinson has been for us. He’s fast enough to do some of that stuff, but he also can do the things that other guys do, which just allows you to overcome. If we could dress 15 receivers every game, none of that stuff would matter. But it’s what you get up on game day and how to get through a game.”

As of right now, Pettis is competing with Robinson, Victor Bolden, and Kendrick Bourne to be the team’s fourth wideout.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of San Francisco…

  • Moore has notes about some of the team’s other draft picks and their progress during OTAs. The writer observed that third-rounder Fred Warner was starting at one of the team’s two inside linebacker spots, while fifth-round defensive back D.J. Reed should be the team’s backup safety. Moore was predictably impressed by first-round offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, noting that he was a seamless fit on the offensive line and in the locker room.
  • In his 49ers mailbag, Barrows lists quarterback, offensive tackle, and cornerback as the “most vulnerable” positions. The writer also notes that a Goodwin injury would leave the team with a big hole, as his speed his valuable on offense and (potentially) in the return game.
  • While George Kittle and Garrett Celek will likely see the bulk of the 49ers snaps at tight end, Barrows believes the team will still end up keeping three players at the position. Tight ends coach Jon Embree previously implied that Cole Hikutini was the team’s definitive third tight end, but the 49ers are also rostering Cole Wick and Malcolm Johnson.
  • When asked who his pick would be for a “surprise cut,” Barrows points to offensive guard Joshua Garnett. The 2016 first-round pick started 11 of his 15 games as a rookie, but he missed all of last season after undergoing knee surgery. While the 24-year-old will have to come back from his injury, he’ll also have to hold off a pair of offseason acquisitions in Michael Person and Jonathan Cooper.

Redskins Send No. 44 Pick To 49ers

The 49ers made a move up into the top half of the second round, dealing with the Redskins for the No. 44 pick.

With the selection, San Francisco added to its receiving corps. Washington slot speedster Dante Pettis will be en route to the Bay Area. The 49ers traded Nos. 59 and 74 to the Redskins for their Nos. 44 and 142 selections.

The 49ers were not enamored with the free agent wide receiver contingent and instead have turned to the college ranks to add to their group, one fronted by Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin.

A 6-foot-1 pass-catcher, Pettis served as a key weapon for four Huskies squads. His best year came in 2016, when the Huskies stormed into the College Football Playoff, when he caught 15 touchdown passes.