Throughout the summer, National Scout Jon Ledyard, Assistant Director Joe Marino and Scouting Director Kyle Crabbs will be conducting summer assessments on 99 notable senior prospects. Of these 99 seniors, the 33 most prominent will be covered by all three analysts.
Of the remaining 66, each of the three analysts has “drafted” 22 of them to scout exclusively.
This serves as the foundation for our 2018 draft assessments.
Scout: Kyle Crabbs
Name: Dante Pettis
Position: Wide Receiver
High School: Junipero Serra (California)
Games Played: 40
Games Started: 24
Production: 100 receptions, 1,495 yards, 17 touchdowns.
High School: All-Conference performer as wide receiver and cornerback. His father Gary played 11 season of Major League Baseball and is currently the third-base coach for the Houston Astros. His cousin Austin Pettis played four seasons in the NFL for the Rams and is Boise State’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving touchdowns. Also played basketball and track in high school. Competed for state championship in the 200 meters and long jump. Three-star recruit.
College: 2015-2nd Team Academic All-Pac 12. Set school record for punt return average in a season with 16.9 yards per return. 2016-2nd Team All-Pac 12. Became Washington’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns with five entering his senior season.
Games watched: Alabama (2016), Southern California (2016), Washington State (2016), Oregon (2016)
Highly competent as a route runner. Will get defenders to cross over feet or mis-aligned early in reps when facing press coverage. Impressive ability to shake and utilize short area quickness and movement efficiency to manipulate defenders. Pairs work at the line of scrimmage with good skill playing off of squatting defenders at the top of routes; will regularly keep defensive backs on their heels in off coverage to prevent clean drive downhill to challenge comeback routes. Is effective running in the middle of the field and working over top of the second level, as well as showing a high competency working back to the line of scrimmage and addressing the ball. Has great hands, plucky and do well to greet the football in space. Very confident catching the football away from his body.
Does not appear to possess some notable physical attributes, either in terms of size or burst. Strength at the catch point in contested situations is notably missing; was unable to finish a number of potential catches due to contact or hits jarring the ball away from the body. Amendment could come from altering how he addresses the football in the middle of the field; needs to use his body as a shield more frequently. Failure to showcase physicality in press situations could limit opportunities as a full time boundary receiver and blocking skills are admirable but not especially notable.
Washington Wide Receiver Dante Pettis figures to be a huge part of the Huskies offense in 2017. The returning senior was Washington’s #2 target during their run to the College Football Playoff and without John Ross in the fray, Pettis is the top target. With another year to work on chemistry with QB Jake Browning, expect much more success from Pettis in 2017. A lot of where he was most successful was finding soft areas against zone coverage and working with timing into the boundary in 2016. Those avenues will still very much be available and added attention from his Quarterback will lead to more targets.
Pettis’ frame is not especially notable; he’s listed at 6’1, 188 lbs. That frame isn’t paired with great long speed or notable length/strength; yet Pettis’ route technician skills prove to consistently allow wins in space. Dante Pettis’ understanding of how to manipulate defenders will give him consistent wins at the college level, although that previously mentioned lack of notable athletic traits could handcuff him into a slot role in the NFL. He very much reminds me of former Ball State WR (and current Saint) Willie Snead.
A very solid player, Dante Pettis should put up big numbers in the PAC-12 and put himself in position to showcase his abilities on the 2018 NFL Draft All-Star circuit in January.