Dante Pettis still can excel in 49ers' offense, GM John Lynch believes


The tail end of Dante Pettis' rookie year made it look like the 49ers found a steal in the second round in the 2018 NFL Draft. But then, he vanished from Kyle Shanahan's offense in his second season. 

While many 49ers fans quickly gave up on Pettis, general manager John Lynch says the franchise hasn't moved on from the young receiver.

"I know a lot of people have soured on him, but we haven't," Lynch said Thursday morning on 95.7 The Game's "Joe, Lo and Dibs" show. "He didn't come to camp ready to play last year physically and we challenged him. That's got to change.

"We believe, if he does, that he's a guy who can really excel in our offense."

Pettis caught 20 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns over the 49ers' final five games in 2018. Last season, though, he played in 11 games last season and totaled only 11 receptions. 

Even after trading Marquise Goodwin to the Philadelphia Eagles during the draft, the 49ers now have a deep group of receivers. They added two more in the draft -- Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings -- and Lynch noted Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor, both of whom missed last season to injuries, as two players they're excited to see this season. 

[RELATED: 49ers made right call to trust gut with Aiyuk over Lamb]

"Those are three guys, in addition to [Brandon] Aiyuk, that we feel could take a big jump if they're out there on the field," Lynch said. 

The 49ers know Pettis has the talent. Now, he has to prove it. And it won't be easy in a jam-packed receivers room.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

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