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 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 for Garoppolo to utilize in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
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 the third-base coach for the Houston Astros.
The 49ers added linebacker Fred Warner from BYU with the 70th pick and Southern Mississippi safety Tarvarius Moore with the 95th selection, which they acquired earlier in the day when they dealt tackle Trent Brown and a fifth-rounder to New England.
That deal came a day after the Niners took Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey with the ninth overall pick.