Registrato: 28/09/18 10:36
|The San Francisco 49ers got more help for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on Friday by trading up in the NFL draft to take speedy receiver and record-setting returner Dante Pettis out of Washington with the 44th overall pick.
The Niners traded the 59th and 74th overall picks to the Washington Redskins for the pick used on Pettis and the 142nd overall selection.
San Francisco then targeted defense with its next two picks in the third round , taking BYU linebacker Fred Warner with the 70th overall selection and Southern Mississippi defensive back Tarvarius Moore at 95.
San Francisco paid a premium to move up in the draft but felt Pettis' game-breaking speed made it worth the price.
Pettis caught 63 passes for 761 yards and seven TDs last season for Washington. He has experience playing outside and in the slot and provides another deep threat in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense for Garoppolo to utilize.
"I'm hoping to do a lot of different things," Pettis said. "Whether that's taking a deep post, taking the top off of the defense or getting a little screen and breaking a few tackles, making a big play that way or just moving the chains on third down. There's a lot of different things that I feel I can do that I can translate into the NFL."
Pettis is also extremely sure-handed. He dropped just three of his 64 catchable targets, according to Pro Football Focus, ranking 13th best in the nation last season.
He also is the NCAA record-holder with nine punt returns for touchdowns, including four last season. He has a career average of 14.2 yards per return. San Francisco has gone 111 straight games without a punt return for a touchdown.
Pettis is the son of former major leaguer Gary Pettis and the cousin of former NFL receiver Austin Pettis. Gary Pettis was born and raised in nearby Oakland and is currently the third-base coach for the World Series champion Houston Astros.
"It was awesome growing up," Dante Pettis said. "I've been around professional sports my whole life. I already have the lay of the land. Obviously, football is a little bit different than baseball, but for the most part it's still a professional sport. They all go about their business pretty much the same way. I'm just excited to actually be here now."
Warner started all 13 games last season, leading BYU with 87 tackles, including nine for loss , along with one interception and five pass breakups. He has seven career interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, as he has excelled in coverage.
"I think that's kind of why they like me so much is my ability to play out in space and cover at a high level," he said. "I'm more than willing and I feel like I'm very capable of being able to cover the tight ends and any slot receivers, because that's what I was asked to do in college football."
Warner is capable of playing the weakside or middle linebacker spot on San Francisco's defense but said the team envisioned him more in the middle. The Niners might need some insurance there with starter Reuben Foster facing three felony counts from a domestic violence case that could impact his availability.
Moore measured 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at his pro day. Moore started one season at Southern Miss, recording 87 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups last season.
The Niners got the pick used on Moore by trading tackle Trent Brown and a fifth-rounder to New England earlier in the day for the selection.
That deal came a day after the Niners found Brown's replacement when they took Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick.
Jalen Ramsey backs up his big talk with big plays.
Now the Jacksonville cornerback can crow about something else.
Ramsey was the overwhelming choice as the NFL’s top cornerback by a panel of 10 football writers for The Associated Press. The All-Pro received eight first-place votes in balloting released Friday.
“Big talent and a big mouth,” wrote New York-based lead NFL writer Barry Wilner. “Still, the guy can cover, isn’t afraid to hit, and likes to match up with the top receivers.”
Marcus Peters of the Los Angeles Rams , last year’s top choice, was second and had the other two first-place votes, followed by Arizona’s Patrick Peterson.
After helping the Jaguars reach the AFC championship game before losing to New England last season, Ramsey made headlines with his mouth.
First, he ripped Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen as “trash” and called Atlanta’s Matt Ryan overrated in the same interview with GQ magazine . It was released a few days after he was suspended during training camp for screaming obscenities at reporters who were videotaping a post-practice altercation between defensive ends Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue.
It wasn’t the only time Ramsey was in the news in August. The third-year pro also dismissed four-time All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski of New England by telling ESPN The Magazine, “I don’t think Gronk is as great as people say he is.”
Two weeks into this season, Ramsey said he would hit his grandmother if she were on the opposing team, along with other family members, while discussing his respect for the game. Asked if he really would hit his grandma, he said he “definitely would.”
“Ramsey talks a big game, but he backs it up with smart, physical play on the back end of arguably the league’s top defense ,” wrote Dennis Waszak, another New York-based AP Football Writer.
The Rams acquired Peters in the offseason after he intercepted 19 passes in three seasons with Kansas City. He was suspended for a game late last season by the Chiefs for throwing a penalty flag into the stands.
The 25-year-old returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in a season-opening win over Oakland. Peters has been battling a calf injury.
“He’s tough enough in coverage that he sometimes has to peel off to go pick off his own interceptions,” wrote Tennessee-based AP Football Writer Teresa Walker.
Peterson has at least one interception in each of his eight seasons with Arizona. At the moment, it appears he will be a bright spot on a bad team with the Cardinals among three winless clubs. Peterson was second to Peters in a close vote last year.
“For sheer talent, Peterson is the best all-around cornerback in the game,” Wilner wrote. “He gets little action in Arizona as the Cardinals struggle to get someone to clamp down the other side of the field.”
Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes was fourth, followed by Casey Hayward of the Los Angeles Chargers. Ramsey teammate A.J. Bouye was sixth, and Detroit’s Darius Slay was seventh.
Chris Harris Jr., of Denver was eighth, one spot ahead of former teammate Aqib Talib, who is now with the Rams. Marshon Lattimore of New Orleans, last year’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after intercepting five passes , wrapped up the top 10.
1. Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville
2. Marcus Peters, LA Rams
3. Patrick Peterson, Arizona
4. Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota
5. Casey Hayward, LA Chargers
6. A.J. Bouye, Jacksonville
7. Darius Slay, Detroit
8. Chris Harris Jr., Denver
9. Aqib Talib, LA Rams
10. Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans