3 former 49ers NFL Draft picks whose careers fell apart too soon

Chris Borland #50 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Chris Borland #50 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
1 of 4

While the San Francisco 49ers have had plenty of busts in the NFL Draft, there are other kinds of players who simply never reached expectations despite plenty of hype.

In 2012, the San Francisco 49ers selected former Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins at the tail end of Round 1 of that year’s NFL Draft. He was targeted just once in his Niners career and was off the team a year later.

In the 1997 draft, San Francisco selected Virginia Tech quarterback Jim Druckenmiller at No. 26 overall. He appeared in only four games, starting one of them and had one touchdown against four interceptions before flaming out early the following year.

Both Jenkins and Druckenmiller were clear-cut busts in the NFL Draft.

This article isn’t about that kind of player.

Granted, players who never reach their expected levels of production can be considered busts, even if the reasons why are far more complex than just sheer underachievement. Instead, however, let’s go back through San Francisco’s draft archives and focus on players whose careers never amounted to anything because of those outside expectations.

Simply explained, who were some 49ers players you wanted to see dominate, only to realize it would never happen?

Unfortunately, there are a few players drafted by San Francisco who fall into this category, too. And a number of them stand out.

Remember running back Glen Coffee, who was selected in Round 3 back in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was pegged to be a potential replacement for the ageless wonder, Frank Gore, yet Coffee elected to call it quits early to pursue a career in the military.

Good for Coffee on that front. Not so good for the 49ers.

Here are three other players of similar ilk whose careers never quite panned out the way the Niners hoped.