Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Cribbs (16) tries to run past Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Terence Newman (23) during the fourth quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Browns beat the Bengals 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

How Much Faith Does San Francisco 49ers Have in A.J. Jenkins?


Lance Iversen/The Chronicle

I think it is safe to say that San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is the ultimate player’s coach. He has the innate ability to get the most out of his players and expects nothing less. However, one player who has been clearly underachieving, is last year’s first-round pick A.J. Jenkins. A huge disappointment, Jenkins has shown absolutely nothing to warrant his first-round selection. Though he only played three games during the regular season, the Illinois product failed to have a single reception. That is right, Jenkins finished the season with a big goose egg! Is it too early to call him the “b “word? I think not. However, with the 49ers projected to have 14 draft picks in the upcoming draft, it will be interesting to see how they prioritize the wide receivers unit.

Aside from Jenkins, the 49ers only have three healthy wide-receivers currently under contract including, WR Michael Crabtree, WR Ricardo Lockette, and WR Chad Hall. And with WR Kyle Williams and WR Mario Manningham coming off season-ending injuries, their ability to regain their form is questionable. So how much faith does Harbaugh have in Jenkins?

Apparently not enough to call his number. Jenkins was only targeted once during his short NFL career, a drop that would have resulted in a first-down, but instead fell incomplete. If the 49ers feel they made a mistake, we will certainly know based on free agency and the NFL Draft, as the 49ers will surely be in the market for a complimentary receiver. There have already been rumors swirling around the 49ers need for a wide receiver, namely Percy Harvin.

However, once the free-agency period begins, other receivers will be on the Niners radar including, WR Greg Jennings, WR Josh Cribbs, and WR Ramses Barden. All of those players are capable of stretching the field much like WR Randy Moss did last year. Furthermore, they are much younger and capable of being groomed into a permanent role instead of a quick fix.

As the 49ers continue in their “Quest for Six,” they will need to figure out if Jenkins is capable of being the player they had envisioned. A first-round talent with an abundance of potential, Jenkins will undoubtedly be labeled a “bust,” much like other 49ers first-rounders, CB Mike Rumph, T Kwame Harris, WR Rashaun Woods, LB Manny Lawson, and DE Kentwan Balmer.

 

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  • Jim Dawkins

    Other than Michael Crabtree, our WR draft picks the last few years have been questionable. Ronald Johnson, Jenkins etc. Granted we don’t know yet if Jenkins is a bust. Hopefully in 2013 he surprises us all. What I do know, is that we have a chance to pickup some good WR talent in this years draft.

    • loverpoint

      Everyone is keeping their fingers crossed concerning Jenkins. If he is a bust then Baalke went from GM of the year in 2011 to GM bust of the year in 2012.

    • Ryan Sakamoto

      I could not have agreed with you more. Players like Ronald Johnson, Brandon Lloyd, Derrick Hamilton, and Brandon Williams have all been busts. The verdict is still out on Jenkins and hopefully he can show us something in 2013.

  • loverpoint

    IF it weren’t for Al Davis making one of the biggest draft blunders in 2009 then the 49ers wouldn’t even have Michael Crabtree on the team, The 49ers have been promising the fans 2 things 1) a shut down cornerback 2) A big time WR. If Baalke has another draft like 2012 then his days as GM won’t last long.

  • loverpoint

    Rookies in the NFL last year (2012) had a very prolific year playing in 1.100+ plays, the most since 1970. 49er rookies were silent in 2012. Does that tell fans how bad the 2012 draft was for the 49ers ?

    • http://twitter.com/ctag823 Christopher Taggart

      whatever man 2011 was epic and baalke is a wizard..not everything works out every year no matter who you are

  • http://twitter.com/PandaKANG9 Panda Kang

    You mentioned Cribbs, who I feel may be a good fit for the niners on multiple levels. As a WR, he add speed and depth. As a RET, he’s the type of game breaker we need along with the veteran poise and consistency. But any other thoughts on bringing a guy like him or Hester (who I believe is a FA as well) in as an upgrade Ted Ginn or should we groom guys like KWilliams, AJJ and LaMichael?

  • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.sedlecky Elliot Sedlecky

    Brandon Lloyd is one of the most talented WRs in the game