Will 49ers trade Dante Pettis after picking Brandon Aiyuk in NFL draft?

Dalton Johnson
NBC Sports BayArea

The 49ers' phone lines were busy during the 2020 NFL Draft. Their Trent Williams trade took center stage, but general manager also traded receiver Marquise Goodwin to the Philadelphia Eagles and running back Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins. 

After moving two offensive players who were key contributors in recent seasons, another could be packing his bags this offseason. The 49ers added two more receivers in the draft -- Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings -- making the jam-packed with too many players compared to roster spots.

Aiyuk is guaranteed to make the roster, along with Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne and a healthy Jalen Hurd. The 49ers also still are high on slot receiver Trent Taylor, who missed all of last season to injury. Dante Pettis, Richie James and Travis Benjamin round out the group. 

Could one of those receivers be on the move? ESPN's Bill Barnwell names Pettis as the 49ers player most likely to be traded or cut in the coming months. The former second-round pick certainly would have the most trade value. 

The 49ers traded up in the 2018 draft to select Pettis at No. 44 overall. He finished his rookie campaign strong and totaled 467 receiving yards and five touchdowns while averaging 17.9 yards per catch. Pettis looked like a strong candidate to be the 49ers' top receiver going into last season. 

And then, he virtually disappeared in 2019. 

Pettis got off to a slow start in training camp last season and was continuously challenged by coach Kyle Shanahan. The man calling the shots quickly ran out of patience. Pettis played in 11 games last season and totaled only 11 receptions. 

There's no denying Pettis has the talent to succeed in Shanahan's system. That's what makes the coach so frustrated. Pettis should be one of Garoppolo's favorite targets, and even a game-changer at times. 

If Pettis puts it all together, he could have a huge bounce-back season. He also might bring a solid return in a trade if he's having a strong training camp and preseason. 

[RELATED: How 49ers' depth chart looks after NFL draft, free agency]

The 49ers lost their third-round pick next year in the Williams trade, and Pettis is the only one of the bunch on the bubble who could bring back a mid-round pick. In a scenario where the rest of the group is proving themselves and teams are willing to send San Francisco a solid draft pick for Pettis, Lynch should listen to the highest bidder. 

Don't toss Pettis to the side and give up on him quite yet, though. He has too much talent to do so. If the trade return is worth it, make a move. Just don't get desperate.

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Will 49ers trade Dante Pettis after picking Brandon Aiyuk in NFL draft? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


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