Chicago Bears: Comparing Anthony Miller’s 2018 outlook with fellow rookies

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Dante Pettis San Francisco 49ers
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers

Dante Pettis was another one of the wideouts selected ahead of Miller in this year’s draft. The San Francisco 49ers are aiming to give their young, franchise quarterback as many weapons going forward as possible, and Pettis fits the mold.

Pettis has a couple of things working against him as a rookie. Allow me to say that, down the road, he could certainly become a force within the 49ers’ offense. But, initially, there are a couple of roadblocks.

Last year, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo quickly developed a positive relationship with speedster Marquise Goodwin — so much so, Goodwin received an extension this offseason. With Goodwin becoming a force in this offense, that’s one guy who will demand targets. In five games with Garoppolo last year, Goodwin accumulated 43 targets.

Second, and obviously, is the return of Pierre Garcon. A veteran like Garcon is going to swallow up targets, simply because he will be one heck of a security blanket for Garoppolo. Speaking of targets, Garcon has played 16 games five different times in his career. Before last year’s injury, he had played four full seasons straight. In his five full seasons over his career, Garcon has averaged nearly 130 targets per season.

Between Garcon and Goodwin, you could easily see 220-plus targets in 2018.

The thing Garcon does well at his age is catch the football — it might sound funny, but it’s the simple truth. Garcon catches the ball, period.

Third, I believe the 49ers will look to get tight end George Kittle more involved this year. He showed some flashes last season and Garoppolo will benefit from having yet another security blanket type of player on third down, especially.

Last, Trent Taylor also flashed last year and looks like he could have a part in the offense as well. In the 49ers offense, there might just be too many mouths to feed ahead of Pettis at the moment. I could certainly see him taking a step forward once Garcon is out of the picture, specifically, but for now, I don’t see him becoming the true no.1 or no. 2 threat on this team.

Where does that leave us?

Verdict: Miller