The 2018 NFL Draft Prospect series breaks down draft-eligible players, highlighting their college production as well as their NFL potential. It’s important for daily fantasy players to know about NFL rookies before they’ve played a down of professional football because they are among the most misvalued assets in all of DFS. People who know NFL rookies have a significant DFS edge. The draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, from April 26-28.
This piece is on Washington wide receiver Dante Pettis.
For more on all the other receivers in the class, see our 2018 NFL draft wide receiver rankings.
Updated as of Mar. 6.
Senior | 6’0″ and 186 Pounds | Born October 23, 1995 (Age: 22) | Projection: Rounds 3-4
Combine numbers: 40-yard: DNP | bench reps: DNP | 3-cone: DNP | 20-yard shuttle: DNP | vertical: DNP | broad: DNP
In 2017 the Cowboys used a fourth-round pick on Ryan Switzer so he could return punts and kicks and sit on the bench as a depth receiver. If Switzer’s draft position is indicative of how the larger NFL market values players, Pettis could be selected on Day 2: He’s an All-American returner with an NCAA-record nine career punt return touchdowns. On top of that, in his two final seasons he had 1,583 yards and 22 touchdowns as a receiver (and 50 yards as a runner). Pettis is functional enough to be an NFL receiver, and last year he easily led all Huskies pass catchers with 63 receptions, 761 yards, and seven touchdowns. In 2016-17, Pettis captured 24.8 and 33.8 percent of Washington’s receiving yards and touchdowns. He’s perhaps the best collegiate return man of all time, but he’s not just a returner. Given his size and collegiate production, he might best be thought of as a Marvin Jones-esque player with slightly less route-running ability but way more return-game utility.
Some general manager will probably like that the Pettis family already has ties to professional sports (his father, Gary, is a former MLB player and the current third base coach for the Astros; his cousin Austin is a former NFL wide receiver), and Dante — like his UW running mate John Ross last year — might have some game-breaking speed. He opted not to participate in combine drills, but at the 2016 ‘Huskies Combine’ Pettis ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash and led the team with a 41.0-inch vertical jump, which isn’t all that surprising since Pettis in high school played basketball and competed in the California state championships for track. If Pettis performs well at the UW pro day, he’ll be a legitimate Day 2 prospect. Also, with his volatility and big-play potential, Pettis is the type of player who could one day win someone a million dollars with a multi-touchdown performance at almost no ownership. I’m just saying this now: When he gets to the NFL, use our Lineup Builder to stack him with his defense. Gotta get that double dip.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports