The 2012 NFL Draft has wrapped up and the San Francisco 49ers made a few intriguing picks during the process. The Niners drafted wide receiver A.J. Jenkins from the University of Illinois with their first round pick. A pick that was very interesting when it was initially made. At first I did not like the Jenkins pick, to be honest I was a little angry. Later I found more information about Jenkins and I began to warm up to the pick.
The reason why I was aggravated with the pick at first was because fellow receivers that were still on the board were Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle, and Brian Quick. All three were rated ahead of Jenkins by many expect; a big reason being that Hill, Randle, and Quick were receivers that had both height and speed. Jenkins on the other hand is only six feet and weighs 190 pounds but does have speed. Meaning with that size Jenkins is destined to be at best a really good number two receiver because very few wide receivers that are six feet and under become elite at the NFL level. These are the reasons why I was not happy about the pick, but then I learned and understood why the Niners made the pick.
Hill, Randle, and Quick are all talented players, but are raw at the wide receiver position. Hill is coming off his only year as a starter at Georgia Tech and had just over 40 receptions. Top WR pick Justin Blackmon had 40 receptions in four game spans in his college career. Needless to say, Hill is a project with lots of potential.
Same can be said about LSU WR Rueben Randle. Randle is an amazing athlete, but at LSU Randle did not receive many passes due to a lack of quarterback play. LSU concentrated mostly on defense and running the ball. Just like Hill, Randle will be a project that has potential.
Brian Quick is a receiver that did have a great amount of receptions during his college career, but the concern is the lack of competition he faced in games. Quick played for Appalachian State, a Division II school. He faced little to no Division I teams and that is a concern to many GM’s and coaches. Once again, has potential but is a project.
Jenkins has lots of experience at the wide receiver position. In 2010 Jenkins had 56 receptions, 746 yards, and 7 touchdowns. He followed that up in 2011 with 90 receptions, 1,276 yards, and 8 touchdowns. The kid knows how to run routes and catch the ball. He is also a two time All Academic Big Ten selection. On top of having an abundance of experience at wide receiver, the kid is smart and has character. The kind of guys that coach Jim Harbaugh loves.
Jenkins might not become a superstar, but sounds like the kind of player that will work hard and contribute to a team that needs explosiveness to their offense. I went to hating the pick to now understanding it. In the future I might end up loving the pick. The Niners want to win now and looks as if they might have found a playmaker. GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!
Niner Nation, let me know what you think of the A.J. Jenkins pick. Do you like it, love it, or hate it? Leave comments