Chicago Bears Draft Scout: Dante Pettis

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Wide receiver John Ross
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Wide receiver John Ross /
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Dante Pettis has had two strong seasons at wide receiver to go with a strong career as a punt returner. Is he what the Chicago Bears are looking for at wide receiver?

Dante Pettis, the cousin of Austin Pettis broke out in 2016 with 15 touchdowns on 822 yards. He came back down to earth this season with 761 yards and seven touchdowns. Still he added in four touchdowns in the punt return game to give himself nine over his four-year run. Is Pettis a potential fit for the Chicago Bears?


Age: 22
College: Washington Huskies


Pettis has great footwork, making him a strong route runner. He is a fluid mover and is able to create separation for himself with his feet. Take the play below for example. He executes a strong double move, selling the curl, faking the out, and then continuing up field. On top of that is strong concentration to haul in the pass.

Pettis is able to use his feet to create separation in the short passing game as well. He plants hard and squares up his defender. With his shifty feet and fluidity, he is able to flow in any direction and gets himself space over the middle.

The play above and the picture below are strong examples of the type of separation that he can consistently get within five yards of the line of scrimmage.

This is a great way to get the ball in his hands for yards after the catch ability, which is another strength of his. This, obviously, shows the most when talking about his punt return ability. He is one of the more dynamic in the country, and his ability to flip field position should be an added bonus to his game.

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His biggest weakness comes in strength. He is not a receiver who is going to win in contested catch situations. If he is not able to get that separation off of the line, he is unlikely to go anywhere in the NFL, and will be shut off. That is a tough drawback to deal with when talking about such a technically sound player. Still, the strength and athleticism have to be questioned here.

As mentioned in his strengths, he is strong when it comes to creating separation within five yards. However, down the field cornerbacks are either able to keep up with him, or make up ground lost due to some of these deficiencies. The lack of variation to his game can explain just two productive seasons, and none that went over 1,000 yards. In fact, with John Ross on the field, Pettis was a clear number two, and in the NFL, he is going to be considered a number two or potential slot option as well.