Attending the Senior Bowl was a chance for Pettigrew to familiarize himself with the players he'll be jockeying with come draft day.
"You get in there with all these guys you get to see on TV but never get to talk to and basically just have fun," he said.
The opportunity to interact with NFL coaching staffs and get feedback from them will prove beneficial for Pettigrew in the long run.
It also helped him address some of the red flags associated with his character. In February 2008, he was charged with felony assault and battery of a police officer. He pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor, for which he paid fines and performed community service. He also pleaded guilty to public intoxication in the same incident.
Said Pettigrew of his meetings with NFL personnel in Mobile: "I think it was a good experience, good exposure."
He overcame his off-the-field issues to author a terrific senior season, posting 43 receptions for 472 yards despite missing three games with an ankle injury. His career numbers include 112 receptions, 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Chargers hardly seem to have room for Pettigrew on the depth chart. Antonio Gates is the best tight end in the NFL; Brandon Manumaleuna and Kris Wilson are versatile H-backs; and Scott Chandler shows promise as a developmental project.
However, there are indications that GM A.J. Smith will draft for talent instead of need this year. The Chargers have made need-picks in recent drafts and paid the price with less impactful players like WR Buster Davis and CB Antoine Cason.
Pettigrew had a standout college career and -- despite his struggles off the field -- he believes he will add a lot to any team that drafts him.
"They get me; they get everything, everything that comes with me," he said.
Which leaves the Chargers to ponder the question: Is that a good thing?